Matching Scope and Benefits

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I’m currently working with a client on a major new project. It’s going to be a multi-year initiative to build a technology platform that will be the cornerstone of their technology interactions with their customers. It will consolidate a number of different technology touch points into one place and provide a considerable amount of new functionality. All of the business stakeholders have laundry lists of ideas for the functionality that should be included, and of course everyone believes that their requirements are the most important.

I recently sat down with the collective group of business stakeholders who would be driving the requirements of these features to start to define the priorities, establish the scope and generally try to focus all of the enthusiasm into specifics that the technology team could actually build. I knew that there was the potential for way too much work to be identified than could possibly be completed, so I decided to take a proactive approach to managing the process. Here’s the tale of that experience…hopefully there are some things here that you can apply with your stakeholders!

My role is more program manager than project manager--I am involved with determining which work will go into which phase. But as PMs are increasingly asked to become involved in the business side of project execution, I think that many of …

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"Work is what you do for others . . . art is what you do for yourself."

- Stephen Sondheim