Scope Changes are not Unthinkable

Slalom Consultant Carl Manello

Carl Manello is a Solution Lead for Program & Project Management based in Chicago who enjoys exploring how to tightly couple the art and science of project delivery with business operations.

“We must dare to think ‘unthinkable’ thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. … We must dare to think about ‘unthinkable things’ because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.”  
 – J. William Fulbright (April 9, 1905 – February 9, 1995)

While most project managers try to limit the number of scope changes within their project, changes should not be “unthinkable.” Changes are inevitable. It is one’s ability to manage those scope changes that delineates the successful project managers from their peers. So how does one effectively manage scope?

We have found that to become a master of scope management means one must understand the need to revisit scope definitions repeatedly.  For example, throughout the project management life cycle, there are a number of points that are opportune for reviewing scope (e.g., project approval, phase gate check points, financial oversight committees).  It is the constant reassessment of scope that helps manage expectations and provide assurance.  However, one should not assume that changes Read more of this post


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