Command and control

VOICES | Project Perspectives
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Elena Nekrasova

project manager, Technoserv Consulting, Moscow, Russia

Change management and intermediate control of work allows you to control the project scope. If the impact of the change is negative, you should convince the initiator that this change would adversely affect the results, time and budget of the project, and this will prevent him or her from achieving his or her goals. People can propose a change unconsciously with the best of intentions or in pursuit of their goals. You should understand the goals of the stakeholders to influence them.

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James Griffiths

senior planning engineer, Babcock, Bristol, England

Compare the current week's total forecast hours to those of the previous week. In my program, I constructed a special screen called “Cost Change View.” The program compares the current quantity of work on engineers' weekly timesheets with last week's. It then filters the activities with a difference and displays them alongside the value of the change. Within that special view, I have a column called “Frequency of Appearance,” a number that increments each time a particular activity appears in the special view. When an activity has appeared four or more times, I highlight it in red bold text, which draws the project manager's attention so he can investigate the cause.

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Jennifer Bleen, PMP

distribution excellence consultant, Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Business needs change faster than many traditional projects can deliver. Unless you're psychic, it's impossible to know all scope up front. I believe agile projects accommodate this uncertainty better. Fixed time boxes equal fixed schedule. Dedicated full-time team equals fixed budget. Scope is left flexible. The customer prioritizes scope. If you focus on highest business value first, delivered in regular intervals within a fixed budget, does it really matter if the scope changed? The business received what most mattered to it sooner. Now a true partnership exists between business and IT.

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Trevor K. Nelson, PMP

president, Nelson Project Consulting, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Change and creep are not the same. Scope creep is when you do things outside of the scope or charter without approval from the sponsor or project manager and without an agreement for additional payment. Scope change is any change or addition made to the project and acknowledged by the project manager or sponsor. In this way, scope creep can be eliminated by having a solid scope charter, a scope statement and contract, and change control processes.

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Jackie Hewett

lead trainer and operations director, Balance Global, Croydon, London, England

For IT projects, I plan through product or deliverable identification—developing a product breakdown structure and then defining what those deliverables look like before build starts. This helps identify products that are and are not in scope. Having a change budget can help focus minds on which changes are “in” and which are “out.” Once the change budget is gone, it's gone. Project managers need to explain time and budget constraints to their team so that within workshops—when a lot of the detail gets thrashed out—they will be careful to not add unnecessary bells and whistles.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

PM NETWORK MAY 2012 WWW.PMI.ORG

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