Managing Scope Changes

Regardless of the project management life cycle (PMLC) model you choose, you will have to deal with scope change requests coming from the client and from the project team. In some cases, you'll be expecting these change requests, and you'll be ready to process them. In other cases, you will not be expecting them (or at least won't want them), but that doesn't absolve you from having a way to process them. You need to have a scope change management process in place as you start the project so you can deal with both the expected and unexpected changes that will come your way.

The Scope Change Management Process

It is difficult for anyone, regardless of his or her skills at prediction and forecasting, to completely and accurately define the needs for a product or service that will be implemented 6, 12, or 18 months in the future. Competition, client reactions, technology changes, a host of supplier-related situations, and many other factors could render a killer application obsolete before it can be implemented. The most frequent situation starts with a statement that goes something like this: “Oh, I forgot to tell you that we will also need ...” or “I just found out that we have to go to market no later than the third quarter instead of the fourth quarter.” Face it: Change is a way of life in project management. You might as well confront it and be prepared to act accordingly.

Because change is constant, a good project management methodology has a change management ...

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