How to Control the Scope in Project Management?

scope

 

Project managers have many responsibilities with one of the key roles being, controlling the project scope.  To have a proper handle on project scope, managers must; have a thorough understanding of the scope, train other members on the project scope and maintain an efficient flow of communication between stakeholders.

Knowing the scope

Project managers must keep an eye on the project’s goal, deadlines and what it is trying to accomplish. They must also make sure that all team members are working towards the project’s goals and deadlines by conveying the project scope to everyone with a vested interest in the project.

Hence, project managers must keep end users, team members, stakeholders, and the business team updated/informed at all times. Informing relevant stakeholders involves creating user documents or creating kick-off presentations at the start of the project. Besides informing stakeholders, project managers have to remind stakeholders about the project scope as team members can forget about the bigger picture when they are preoccupied with their daily tasks.

Training the team

Project managers must train team members on what features constitute as part of the project scope. As the team will work closely with the client on the project, being requested to and making changes is inevitable. However, changing features can affect the project scope, thus throwing the pre-established scheduling and budgeting out of balance. This in-turn would put the team at risk of running into production difficulties further down the pipeline. To prevent disruptions to production flow and timelines, project managers should enlighten team members on the wholistic scope of the project, the project plan and how to communicate with clients requesting changes.

Communication protocols should be established, along with a process to handle client requests. Team members should first convey requests to the project manager. The manager has to make a decision either by approving the change or forwarding the request to a committee. Furthermore, team members should avoid committing to changes without getting approval from the project manager.

Communication

Maintaining effective communication is one of the most important aspects of Project Management.  Project Managers need to establish good communication with stakeholders and maintain the flow of communication between all key personnel involved in the project, including any revisions made to the project scope. They also have to ensure that the stakeholders are kept updated on which features get priority, which features are dropped, any changed deadlines and on any new specifications to be included in the project.

Project managers basically are the governing parties of the entire project and are charged with orchestrating the development schedules and establishing and maintaining the parameters that would ensure the project’s success. It is their primary task to ensure that the project scope is adhered to on all aspects, the requirement specifications are controlled/achieved and established deadlines are met. Therefore, by thoroughly understanding the scope of the project, making sure all team members are well versed with the scope and maintaining effective communications ensuring all stakeholders are kept up to date on any revisions to the scope, are some of the most effective ways to control the scope of a project.