Scope refers to the boundaries and deliverables of the project. These details and definitions are agreed upon by the clients, project management team and the sponsor However, during the project many changes are requested by the clients, which may or may not be accommodated .The scope change management plan aims to create a process for accommodating changes identified by the stakeholders. The plan includes the procedure for requesting of change by the client, handling of the request, determining the request’s impact on the project, sending it for approval and making the necessary changes.
The scope change request may come from the project team, clients or sponsors. The change request may be due to an external event. For example, changes in market conditions may require that the delivery policy be changed. This would have to be tackled immediately. The change may also be required if the product scope or project scope would have been defined poorly or customers requests the change for example a request for an online forum to discuss about the books they bought from the bookstore with other readers. The change may also be requested by a team member or may be a result of a risk. For
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No verbal requests would be entertained. If requests are small, they should be sent to the project manager via email whereas big requests should be sent through ‘scope change request form’. Whoever makes the request should define the value of the request and the consequences if it is not accepted. This would facilitate the sponsor in making a well-informed decision. Also, requests may be looked after on priority basis. For example if an external event or a value-added change makes it very important for the change to be incorporated, it would be catered to first.
Also, if the change requested is due to a change in definitions and deliverables of scope, there would be a meeting among the project manager, sponsor and the client so that every body has agreed upon the important changes.
To keep track of the request, it would then be entered into the ‘scope change log ‘.The project manager would then assign the responsibility of investigating the issue to a team member or to himself. The team member would determine the time needed for investigation. If that time would cause a delay in deliverable dates, the request would be sent to the sponsor to determine whether the request should be taken up.
If the sponsor approves the request, the member would update the work plan and budget, analyze the scope change request, alternatives, value and impact of the change on the project and transfer them to the sponsor for approval or denial.
He would then record the sponsor’s decision in the documents and in the scope change log. If the request is rejected, it would be closed as ‘not approved’ on the log. However, if it is approved the required activities would be augmented to the work plan to implement the changes. The project budget would also be updated, if necessary.
It is very important to communicate the status of the requests to all stakeholders. For this purpose, the current scope change log would be attached to the status reports. This would help manage expectations and show how the requests would impact the project deadline and the project budget.
There would be a lot of small requests received by the project management team daily. It would not be practicable to send each request individually to the sponsor. For this purpose, small requests would be batched into a bundle. The project management team would be updated with small requests, their business value and the project impacts. When the requests would reach a certain limit they would be taken to the sponsor for the approval.
Also, the project manager would be allowed to accept or deny requests that would not cause the cost to surpass the agreed-upon cost or for which the schedule would not be significantly disturbed.
Lastly, a freeze date would be decided between the project manager and the sponsor. After that date, no changes would be accepted.
1. Torn Mochal (april 05, 2005) Learn the secret of effective scope change management, retrieved june 10, 2008, from BNET Business Network: website: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5650093.html?tag=rbxccnbtr1
2. Richard Heilman Consulting (n.d) project scope management retrieved june 10, 2008, from Richard Heilman Consulting website: http://www.rhpmp.com/pmtools/02-Scope.ppt#361,3,Slide 3