Are creeping scope issues scaring your PMs

Author: Ian Needs

Are creeping scope issues scaring your PMs?

We are just about ready to celebrate Halloween—the time of costumes, pumpkin carving, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night and creepy crawlies. Yet every season can be a scary season for PMs—when project scope begins to creep and their (collective) skins begin to crawl.

As industry-leading providers of project and portfolio management solutions, we’ve worked with PMs from most major industries—professional services, hospitality, healthcare and IT, to name just a few. Project scope issues come in many shapes and sizes and primarily rear their ugly heads because of poorly defined assumptions and restrictions. Here are some of the ways we’ve helped PMs tame their “creepy scope” issues.

Dark shadows over resource planning

Perhaps you didn’t realize how complex your project really was and you’ve run out of resources. If the scope that you’ve agreed on with your customers is based on limited resource demand planning, never fear: We’ve worked with people who have mitigated this outcome almost completely. Here’s how:

  • Utilize easy-to-use demand management and capacity planning so you can run scenarios and estimate resources precisely before you begin
  • Analyze historical project data to make informed decisions based on lessons learned

Creepy people

People are your most important resources. Yet the people part of any project can sometimes offer more stumbling blocks to on-time, on-budget delivery than anything else. 

A recent client had this issue. By 2013, the company workload and headcount had expanded 50%. They had to utilize scarce resources across five US offices. They used KeyedIn Projects to provide improved visibility into deploying people during projects that tended to have a lot of “scope creep” and solved this issue with solid resource allocation to improve overall profitability.

Budget scares

As you go forward on a project or when managing competing projects within a strategic portfolio, keeping a handle on the budget can sometimes become a challenge. An article by Shelly Doll in Tech Republic discusses the financial impacts of scope creep in a horror story about a software development project that made me shiver. And even though her seven steps are those that we’ve cut our teeth on as seasoned PMs, she makes a good point: Financial slip-ups are the ones that delay and destroy projects more than almost any other kind of mistake we can make.

One of our clients, a leading provider of technical services and hosting solutions needed to gain an iron grip on just such expenditures. To ensure that the costs and expenditures associated with their international consulting operations were under control, they came to us to make sure their efforts were monitored closely. With many consultants in the field, and with a client-base stretching across a large number of different countries, business related expenses were in-check and on-or-under budget, thanks to our solutions.

PMs don’t have the benefit of a crystal ball when scoping projects. So don’t run when scope creep closes in—view our latest demo to discover how you can banish it – or at least mitigate the very worst cases – before your clients have any reason at all to be spooked.