Project Scope & Change Management

Compiled by: Faisal Shareef & Syed Hummayon Hussain


The product’s characteristics and features described the scope of a project, work that must be executed and delivered to the project objective as a product with specific features and functions. The processes of these areas of concern ensuring that the content and scope of the project has defined and any change can be controlled.

The processes in this field of knowledge dealing with the ongoing refinement of the description of what will be shipped in the project ever has. Before a project or a new phase of the project can start at all, it requires an initiation. Thus, it is the authorization of a new project or a new phase in a larger project. This authorization is done through the formal decision to start a project or to let it enter a new phase.

In the real world of projects, the project manager is often the first to determine the success with systematic project management. This often means that he or she is in the crucial initial phase of a project not yet “on board” and was subsequently completed (planning) to accept the facts and has to conduct. In the initiation, it should also be documented already, starting with what limitations and assumptions of the project. In many projects there are these limitations and assumptions only unspoken and undocumented. It is good when it is clear that under what conditions the project shall be carried out. For example, in an IT project there may be an assumption that a particular tool is necessary to develop a timely and reliable available. Such an assumption must be regularly reviewed in the course of the project on its continued validity. This process of initiation is part of the initiation process group.

The next processes in this field of knowledge consist of the ever more precise description of the goods delivered and services of the project.

This is the first rough description of the project from the initiation of a more detailed description of project content and scope created. This includes, among other things, the project justification, a description of the project product, a list of things and services that must be provided in the project and the project objectives. These objectives must be quantifiable in any case.
The WBS (work breakdown structure) refined this description when the main components will be further broken down. This breakdown should be conducted in such an extent that the components are planned. This work breakdown structure is of paramount importance. What is not defined in it, does not belong to the project. It is the basis for any further planning and also the benchmark for the verification of the results of the project. These processes of defining the scope and content belong to the group planning process.

The achievement of the agreed target as project content and scope to specific points in time must be regularly reviewed in the project. For every change of the content and scope, there must be a control system. It must be clear who should decide to change. This process of inspection and control are part of the process group. Thus lacking any predictability is either unclear or uncertain, which will affect the project.


Why Scope change??

There are number of reasons that cause change in scope, this Is necessary to understand not all changes are wish list, but some changes in scope are beneficial to get closer MOVs (measurable organization values), good practice is that always consider those changes that give value to organization, now if we compound those areas so we clearly identified that in which area we got change in scope.

Incapable project team is the measure cause of scope change; the reason is that if a team doesn’t understand the actual requirement, values of organization so the change in scope occurs.

Increasing features in a project may cause scope, cost, resource, time, this is important to understand that not every time project sponsor requesting features, a project team also perform same role in order to make project more interesting, give new ideas , so the result is that project team and sponsor divert to its actual need, and if both project team and sponsor move on that path the project failure rate increases, actually featurism is not given the value to organization and cause actual goals and objective.

And finally is that there is a concept of scope leaping, means often project team focus on different MOVs regardless on baseline MOVs, the result is that sponsor rethinking the current values of project, if the change is critical then sponsor initiates new values of a project, so this is also divert the focus of base line MOVs that has been discussed before project starts.

Change Control Procedure??

There should be proper way to control the scope change before the actual work started, and that changes will shared among all the stake holders, now this procedure will manage all request from sponsors or organization and make decision either this change will accept or reject. The change request is in proper format, for example a “Request Form”, and in that request form sponsor will define the enough description about changes that are easily understandable by project manager and project team, and secondly is that as a sponsor of project a scope changes are defensible, mean you have to mentioned what are the important of your organizational value regardless your main focus on featurism, and you must define several alternatives in order to assess the impact of scope (schedule, resources, and cost), after all these changes will approve and sign off from both sides including the project sponsor and project team as well , because the project base will have to be adjust accordingly, Alternative may including limiting functionalities on other areas, depending upon what sponsor will focuses on.

After scope changes approved there should be change request log, that include all the information regarding changes, this log protect project team as well, unfortunately introducing scope creep will impact the schedule and budget and interest rate of project team on a project, change control procedure helps project team to stay focused in a project.

The most important benefit of scope change control is that its keep project manager in control of the project, more specifically it’s allow project manager to control project schedule and budget.