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Friday, July 8, 2011

Chapter 84: Controlling Scope

Controlling the project scope includes influencing factors that create changes to the scope, as well as managing change requests and controlling their impact when the change actually occurs.

While controlling the scope, you focus on the following tasks:
• Watch out for scope creep - Determine whether it has happened and correct the situation. Scope creep refers to scope changes applied without processing them though the change control process.
• Process the scope change requests through the integrated change control process for approval.
• Manage the implementation of scope changes after approval, as well as their impact across the project.

In real life, scope creeps occur for various reasons. For example, perhaps a development engineer thought something was a cool feature to implement, or the customer spoke directly with the engineer to make a request for a minor additional feature, or various other similar situations occurred. If scope creep has taken your project off track, you need to take corrective actions to get the project back on the track. You should also investigate how the scope creep happened and take steps to prevent it in the future; for example, by educating team members about the proper scope change process.

The Control Scope Process can be explained using the picture below:

The obvious input items to the scope control process are the elements that define the scope, such as the project scope statement, the scope baseline, the WBS, the WBS dictionary, and a scope management plan that describes how to manage the scope. The performance reports might help to detect a scope change, and some change requests in other areas can result in scope change, as well.

The main output of the scope control process is the update to scope-related input elements, such as the project scope statement, the WBS, the WBS dictionary, and the scope baseline. The components of the project management plan affected by these changes might also need to be updated. Change requests and recommendations for corrective actions are other obvious output items from the scope control process.

The main tools used in the scope control process are the change control system and the project performance analysis, including the scope variance and the schedule variance. Schedule variance can have an effect on the scope if you want to finish the project on time and there are no additional resources available. The change control system of an organization is a collection of formal documented procedures that specify how the project deliverables and documents will be changed, controlled, and approved.

You monitor the project by watching its progress, which is a measure of its performance. Therefore, performance measurement and analysis make up an important category of tools and techniques in monitoring and controlling the project.

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