Project Management

How to Manage Scope Creep in an Outage

Naveed is an Outage Planning Engineer at Pakistan's leading IPP Company. He has been associated with the Energy sector for nine years, with experience in maintenance and projects.

Outages are planned shutdowns of plants for maintenance, including preventative maintenance and defects. Preventative maintenance works have pre-defined scope, a job plan and resource requirements built into a maintenance management system. The problematic area is corrective maintenance scope (i.e., defects). Defects often result in significant increase in outage scope, known as scope creep.

Scope creep is a serious challenge that outage managers, outage engineers and planners face before and during an outage. In order for us to manage it, it is necessary to understand what scope creep is—and what its causes are. If the root causes are taken care of, the problem will be solved by itself!

Scope creep can be defined as the extra or additional scope that was not part of your original plan or scope baseline. Out of the many reasons, some of critical ones contributing to scope creep are:

  1. Work breakdown structure is not elaborate
  2. Scope submission deadline not practicable
  3. Delay in management approvals
  4. Change management plan not available
  5. Unanticipated and emergent work
  6. Risk management not carried out properly
  7. Organizational process assets not available
  8. Lack of organizational project management maturity
  9. Stakeholders not engaged during planning phase

1. Work breakdown structure is not elaborate
The WBS is developed during the planning phase. It is…

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- George Bernard Shaw