Sunday, November 4, 2007

Two Other Important Inputs to Scope Change Control

Your project scope is a dynamic entity. If you don't keep an eye on it, it can spin out of control and wreak havoc on your project. Project scope verification and change control are the processes used to keep your project on target, on schedule, and within budget. The main inputs to these processes are the work results, product documentation, work breakdown structure (WBS), scope statement, and project plan. Two other inputs to scope change control are also invaluable in scope verification and change control. These "other" inputs are the scope management plan and performance reports.
  • Scope management plan

    The scope management plan is a basic high-level plan for scope change control. Developed during the scope planning process, it is actually a part of the scope statement. It will help you rate how proposed changes will impact the project.

    High-impact changes are the most severe and affect the whole company. Scope changes of this type affect the revenue and schedule of a project. For example, a delay in supplies could be rated as a high-impact change if it will impede the project schedule.

    Medium-impact changes affect the project team members. These scope changes could alter how the team approaches the project, but shouldn't add time or money to the project.

    Low-impact changes affect individual members of the team. Team members may need to modify a particular task within a project phase. Low-impact changes should not affect project baselines.

    Another component of the scope management plan used as an input to scope change control is the description of roles and responsibilities in relation to scope changes. Clearly defined responsibilities make the change process smoother because the team members will know exactly what they are expected to do.

    The requester is any project stakeholder who submits a change request. It is his or her responsibility to fully complete the change request form and forward it to the change coordinator for the project.

    The change coordinator receives new change requests and ensures they are complete. The change coordinator is responsible for requesting clarification of any confusing information and forwarding the change request to the assessment team. This person may also lead the assessment team.

    The members of the assessment team are responsible for determining the impact of the proposed change on the scope of the project. They also provide an estimate of effort to implement the change.

    The project manager reviews the assessment information and determines the impact on project schedule and budget. It is the responsibility of the PM to approve or reject any change request that is within his threshold of acceptance. He passes any other changes to the project steering committee.

    The project steering committee reviews change requests only when asked by the project manager. The steering committee has the authority to approve or reject these changes.
  • Performance reports

    Performance reports are also inputs to scope change control. One of the duties of the project manager is to provide stakeholders with periodic project updates. Performance reports provide the project manager with a means to provide accurate, periodic reports. The reports include values of planned, actual, and earned costs, which show project performance at the present time as compared to the baseline or objectives. You can use these values to measure performance after making a change.
"Other" inputs to scope change control help to ensure that changes to your project's scope are adequately controlled. Together, the scope management plan and performance reports provide additional information to help you manage scope changes and incorporate them more easily into your project.

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