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Topics: Scope Management
Progressive elobaration vs Scope creep
How can the project manager ensure that there is no scope creep happening while performing progressive elaboration? For example the customer might ask to build a wooden box for which the company agrees and creates a scope baseline. Later the customer might want to create shelves inside the box. From customer point of view the box is the scope boundary hence he is not asking something which is out of the scope. But from project point of view it requires additional effort to make them which was not agreed earlier.
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Change control managemet process. That is the solution, no other.
The key is a good scope definition, part of the contract and follow by a change control process.
Thanks Vincent & Sergio. But the catch here is requested additional work is within boundaries of scope in client eyes. He might not agree for a CR and we had agreed for progressive elobaration.

Upendra, All the changes are managed as per the Change Management Plan. Change Management Plan should have answers to these kind of situations. And if you are following change management plan, this is not the scope creep. Yes, quality of information increased as we move. That is the reason range of cost get decreased with time. This helps to manage the customer expectations for the cost. But for any changes in scope, we need to refer Change Management Plan. 


Both are totally different things. Using progressive elaboration does not implies to create CRs. In progressive elaboration the scope could be defined into each step. So, you have to pay attention to your project life cycle.
Hi Upendra,

I’ve only really seen progressive elaboration applied to scope and / or estimating.

From a requirements gathering perspective, it is an activity that gets you to your scope baseline, not really something that should be commonplace all the way through your project.

From a planning perspective, it is a tool that you use to add more detail to your plan, as and when information becomes available.

To use your wooden box example. When eliciting your client’s requirements, you should be able to establish, whether their business need is to have a wooden box with shelves in it.

When verify and validating client’s requirements, you should also be able to state when they are satisfied, by clearly defining the parameters by which you test and measure them.

As previous posts have mentioned, the only way to control scope creep is to have a robust change control process, but that only works if you have a set of requirements that are clearly defined.

Have you thought about using mock-ups, dummy models, or wireframes to help your client visualise and communicate their requirements more effectively?

Regards,

Darren Kosa
Hi Upendra,

I'm concurred with the rest of comments from PM fraternity. Yes definitely, the are two separate issue need to tackle if the example that you'd shared. The changes on the scope definite need change scope management. From there once the change is agreed from both parties, only than you can come out with mitigation plan to still meet the schedule even though the scope growth i.e require additional manhours, additional material and etc. From there your schedule might need to do crashing to meet the dateline or else the completion of the works beyond the set date.

The catch-up can be established either do-able to complete the works or else need to come out with revise schedule with new dateline to deliver.

Thank You.
Scope Definition will ensure you do only the agreed and required work, whereas Change Management Plan will have an efficient way of getting concerned stakeholders along with Project Manager to accept of reject change thus ensuring to prevent Scope Creep.
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1 reply by M. Sahir A. Shatiry, PMI-RMP, PMP
Mar 15, 2016 7:14 AM
M. Sahir A. Shatiry, PMI-RMP, PMP
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Yes agreed with you Mr Aejaz. The mechanism is there to prevent the Scope Creep to happen. There is tools that project manager can use to ensure this scope creep will not happen.

1) This kind of mechanism to ensure the changes is in controlled manner.
2) Define the scope at earlier stage also will avoid this to happen

Thanks.
Mar 15, 2016 6:55 AM
Replying to Aejaz Shaikh
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Scope Definition will ensure you do only the agreed and required work, whereas Change Management Plan will have an efficient way of getting concerned stakeholders along with Project Manager to accept of reject change thus ensuring to prevent Scope Creep.
Yes agreed with you Mr Aejaz. The mechanism is there to prevent the Scope Creep to happen. There is tools that project manager can use to ensure this scope creep will not happen.

1) This kind of mechanism to ensure the changes is in controlled manner.
2) Define the scope at earlier stage also will avoid this to happen

Thanks.
Hi All,

Thanks for the replies.

Hi Darren,

That is what my expectation is. I had a good argument with someone that once the scope is agreed between both parties..in the case of example where customer stated he needed a wooden box only and the requirements are signed, for what ever change there after I will follow the Change Management process without fail post my scope baseline is agreed between both parties.

But the other project manager told me that as a Customer he will not agree to pay more for the additional work (Shelves within the box) as he felt that it is covered in signed baseline.

Hope my assumption is valid
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1 reply by Darren Kosa
Mar 15, 2016 10:01 AM
Darren Kosa
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I think every PM has this challenge… client expectation vs. what is contracted against. More often than not their expectation is a Rolls Royce, but only want to pay out for a second-hand Morris Minor.

Are they able to identify the particular requirement that stated they wanted shelves in the box? If not and they still want shelves, are they willing to trade scope? They originally wanted a mahogany box, but now they’ll get a shelved plywood box with a mahogany veneer.

Before you start town the RfC route, how much will it cost your business to implement this change? Is there a chance that you can offset this cost if you were to get 10x more work from the same client?

If your requirements are ambiguous enough that they can be interpreted more than one way, then you could have a problem. If they are watertight, then you will have less of a problem. It all depends on how you want to manage this particular client.
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