Project management needs to focus on different areas of knowledge. Scope, cost, and time are evaluated as major aspects and factors behind the success. Scope management helps manage different activities and requires some effort and time. Scope management assists in facilitating the milestone and deliverable of a project. Scope creep in project management is evaluated as a drawback for a project which defines sone unnecessary growth. This can be controlled with documents, control change processes, project team awareness, etc. A project manager needs to use scope management and creep management to control failure.
Project scope, cost, and time play an important role in the success of a task. A project manager is a responsible authority to handle the cost and complete the task in a defined duration (Kendrick, 2015). Different types of costs are incurred on a project like direct cost, indirect cost, fixed cost, variable cost. All of them are needed to assess in advance by the project manager so that they can define the budget. Time management is also important to facilitate and succeed in a project with appropriate monitoring and control. This assessment will be focused on the literature review on the scope as an appropriate project management area. Another aspect is the evaluation of the scope creep in project management and its application in a project environment. The impact on project success will be defined with a managerial decision.
a) Literature review on the scope
The scope of a project defines a brief overview of a task to the stakeholders with major factors behind the success. It includes a specific list of goals, features, deliverables, deadlines, and milestones (Madhuri, et. al., 2018). This defines the target of the project and the work which used to get done. The project manager consists and defines some of the activities as in-scope and some as out-scope. This indicates that several activities in the project are well planned whereas some consider as a contingency. Project scope is important to make a task successfully and guide others to facilitate operations in the right direction (Shirazi, et. al., 2017). For effective scope management, the project manager needs to follow certain steps. Following are some of the steps for effective project scope management:
- Planning of the scope: This is the first stage of the project where all information leads to collect from the stakeholders which include requirements, expectations. Under this, stakeholders help to document the activities and derive steps to control the scope of a project. This scope management plan helps in assessing the contingencies of the project, milestones, other elements of the work breakdown structure, etc.
- Collect requirement: In this phase, the project manager will be going to determine the wants and needs of the stakeholders. For managing the scope and success of a project, it is essential to determine and underpin the requirement of stakeholders which derive through focus groups, surveys, interviews, etc.
- Scope description: The scope statement helps define the aspects of a project. The key deliverables and milestones will be assessed as well. Thus, for a better a depth understanding, the project manager also becomes aware of the in scope and out of the scope activities. Hence, with this, the project manager becomes able to prepare strategies and outline the plan of the work.
- Scope validation: The scope validation is important to derive the best deliverables. It is essential to review the deliverables of the project and get approval. An appropriate plan in place is helpful to accomplish the desired target. The operational system of record helps in setting up the scope validation process so that every stakeholder used to approve it.
- Controlling of scope: For better control of a project, it is a moral duty of the manager to facilitate keen monitoring. The project managers need to compare the performance reports with project requirements. This helps in determining that the scope of a project is getting fulfil or not.
As per the viewpoint of Shrivastava and Hariharan (2015), project scope management implementation takes an amount of fair but it supports managing the duration of the long run, money, and many other problems. Thus, a project manager needs to align appropriate communication between the stakeholders and take suggestions from team members. With this, the project manager is required to focus on these activities of the scope management so that it can contribute to the success of a project. Stakeholders are a helpful and integral part of the scope management process. A scope assists a project to become successful with a description of key milestones and single activities. This will result in optimum use of resources which benefits in cost and time control. Every aspect of project management is interlinked with one other to derive beneficial gain.
On the basis of Siemens (2016), scope management is not an easy task for a project manager and needs knowledge, communication with stakeholders. Scope management also helps the project manager to define roles and responsibilities as well as to develop a process. The scope management process is focused on some key areas like process, project group, and key deliverables. Under this, every stage belongs to a specific aspect and attribute to make a successful outline. The project scope management defines some basis like:
- It clearly states about the results or the end deliverables accomplish through the project
- It also defines the budget and time constraint information related to the project which includes a description of the project and end product which derive with ending of the task.
- This also categorizes the project budget and schedule so that every activity can be done as per defined process and procedure.
For effective control on the process, the project manager focuses on input, tools, and techniques ad output. Input includes project management plan, charter, process assets, environmental factors (Monnappa, 2020). The tools and techniques for better control on the scope are expert judgment and meetings with the people. Thus, with the focus on controlling scope, project requirements lead to fulfilling. Along with this, it also assists in deriving an appropriate and suitable solution for every single problem.
b) Application of scope in the project environment and its impact on project success and managerial decision
Sometimes a project suffers from inappropriate growth and went through various changes at any time. This problem arises due to inappropriate documentation, control, and management of the activities (Ajmal, et. al., 2019). This aspect is termed as the project scope creep of kitchen sink syndrome. This hampers the project work and influences the strategy of the project as well. Thus, a project manager needs to use relevant strategies and the draft document before initiating a project. For better control, a manager needs to focus on controlling activities so that it can avoid unnecessary growth and creep in the project.
Project scope Creep is inappropriate in nature and influence growth and ending results as well. This harms a project completely but can provide good results in minimum cases. A project manager needs to understand the scope of creep causes (Wawira and Susan, 2019). Some of the primary causes which deprive through scope creep are:
- This causes a poor assessment of the requirements. This makes the work and pattern of work hard for the manager. Moreover, the team also moves in different directions which influence the utilisation of the resources.
- This causes due to underestimation of the requirements of the project. The project manager does not justify and determine the requirement of a project. This results in the scope creep as team members, stakeholders do not link their needs and requirements with the project.
- One of the major drawbacks of scope creep which causes from it is lack of control. It becomes hard for the project manager to control the entire project in an effective manner. This results in a negative outcome as it might cause the failure of the project as well.
Its impact on project success
Project scope creep influences the results of the project and impacts it differently as well. A project manager needs to understand the impact of creep on the project and its success (Wawira and Susan, 2019). Following are some of the impact of scope creep on project success which needs appropriate evaluation:
- The first impact is defined in the budget of the project. A fluctuation in the budget of a project influence various activities. It also overestimates and underestimates a budget that fluctuation in the cost. With a slight increase in the cost of any activity, the manager needs to cut down from other activities like material, labour, etc. Thus, the success of a project compromise as its quality hamper.
- Another impact on project success is the inappropriate utilization of resources. The resources used for a project went out of control. This arises due to creep and delay in the project. The project goes beyond the defined time duration which wastes the major resources. Hence, it influences the budget of the project for the consumption of more resources. Thus, it also influences the success of a project as things went in different directions.
Strategies/ways to prevent scope creep
Project scope creep is evaluated as an inappropriate aspect for the task which causes failure. Thus, the project manager needs to use relevant and effective ways to prevent scope creep. Following are some of the ways through which scope creep can be controlled effectively ((Ray, 2013):
- Documentation of the requirements which include every single information of a project like a milestone, deliverables, time, resources. This helps in effectively planning the entire project.
- Develop a change control process in the project. Under this, a project manager can change any activity with a suggestion from stakeholders. This helps in avoiding any fault and fluctuation from the project so that all tasks went in the right direction.
- Scheduling of a project is really important and assist in making a successful project with any creep. Thus, scheduling is important to draft while developing a scope with the assistance of WBS.
- Verification is important from the side of stakeholders. The project manager needs to verify details from the stakeholders and take their approval.
- Engage the project team and define the scope to them. This helps in controlling the scope creep as they use to work as per define roles and responsibilities.
Case of scope creep (from business, industry, or project)
Scope creep is inappropriate and defines the failure of a project. The project manager needs to align their study with some cases of scope creep. One of the causes of scope creep was Chrysler’s PT Cruiser. Chrysler’s PT Cruiser did not want to change the design of their cars at the last minute but at the time of product delivery, the company suffers from some problem (Scope creep: manage scope wisely for a successful project, 2020). This results because of inappropriate preparation of the product delivery schedule. Thus, as a result, the company had faced a huge loss in sales and the launch of its cars in the market.
Managing scope creep
Managing scope creep is not a big deal. It needs some knowledge and efforts by the project manager so that all aspects work in a relevant direction. Following are some ways of managing scope creep (Scope creep: manage scope wisely for a successful project, 2020):
- Development of the change control process which further deploys some changes in the documents.
- Aware all stakeholders about changes as well as keep check up on the scope of the project.
- Communicate scope change properly with the new timeline
- Collaboration with stakeholders and take their opinion about change or alteration in the project.
Following are some recommendations to control the scope creep of the project:
- Update the timeline when any alteration leads to take place so that necessary changes can amend.
- Take suggestions from stakeholders about change so that relevant judgment can take place.
- Develop documents and milestones and aware team members about it so that work can direct in a relevant direction.
It gets concluded from the above report that scope helps a project to become successful. With the scope statement, the project has directed in a relevant direction without any confusion and problem. The project manager has to use the steps of the project scope management so that all activities and operations lead in the right direction. Project scope creep has defined as a major issue in modern projects. This has controlled with documentation, awareness to team members. It causes the failure of a project and overlaps the budget. For managing scope creep, the company has to develop a control change process.
Ajmal, M., Khan, M. and Al-Yafei, H., 2019. Exploring factors behind project scope creep–stakeholders’ perspective. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business.
Kendrick, T., 2015. Identifying and managing project risk: essential tools for failure-proofing your project. Amacom.
Madhuri, K.L., Suma, V. and Mokashi, U.M., 2018. A triangular perception of scope creep influencing the project success. International Journal of Business Information Systems, 27(1), pp.69-85.
Monnappa, A., 2020. What is Project Scope Management and Why It’s Important? [Online] Simpli Learn. Available at: https://www.simplilearn.com/project-scope-management-importance-rar89-article. [Accessed on: 1st May 2020].
Ray, S., 2013. Ways to Avoid Scope Creep. [Online] Project Manager. Available at: https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/5-ways-to-avoid-scope-creep. [Accessed on: 1st May 2020].
Scope creep: manage scope wisely for a successful project, 2020. [Online] Project Management Qualification. Available at: https://www.projectmanagementqualification.com/blog/2019/03/07/manage-scope-creep/. [Accessed on: 1st May 2020].
Shirazi, F., Kazemipoor, H. and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, R., 2017. Fuzzy decision analysis for project scope change management. Decision Science Letters, 6(4), pp.395-406.
Shrivastava, A.A. and Hariharan, S., 2015. Deliverable Management In Projects. International Journal of Engineering and Computer Science, 4(06).
Siemens, L., 2016. Project management and the digital humanist. Doing digital humanities: Practice, training, research, pp.343-57.
Wawira, M.C. and Susan, W.E.R.E., 2019. Effects of project management practices on community development in Nairobi city county. International Journal of Project Management, 1(1).