The Case of the Never Ending Scope Creep Introduction and Purpose: The purposes of this report are

to: assess the status of XY’s Department’s project to improve its obsolete computer system which manages public clients; recommend steps to bring the project to a close, and recommend improvements to the XY’s Department’s future project management practices. Assessment of the Current Status: The project has not been completed. The department has incurred unanticipated overhead. The department has received a request for an additional $185,000. There are no records of the original scope, scope changes, schedule, or budget. XY Department’s objective was to replace and to improve its obsolete computer system which managed public clients. The project was apparently scoped and planned, with specific milestones for implementing the hardware and, subsequently the software, across 87 sites with a projected completion date of June 30, 2001. However I have not been able to find any reliable reports as to the actual scope, schedule, and budget. The project began July 1999 and as of today June 1, 2001, it has not been completed. According to an interview in the Journal of Digital Asset Management with Glenn Ferrell, an acclaimed project manager with over two decades of experience, sound project management practices entail that projects are to be clearly scoped, have structured contracts and budgets, have

This resulted because the steering committee met less frequently and Good Programs was left to do more and more of the day to day management. However. with little consultation among managers.sound communication. which ultimately benefitted Good Programs. Instead of addressing the steering committee Good Programs introduced new versions after approaching individual representatives. Sounds management practice requires a set budget and not to approve additional funds without clear justification The department has incurred unanticipated overhead in that XY employees had to take time off from their normal workload to individually test new versions of Good Program’s software. With respect to scope everyone must be on the same page and share the same goals. contractors. 84). Because the project is not complete XY has not received any additional functionality and benefits. Sound project management practice would be to have a clear contract. today XY is being asked for an additional $185. and budget.000. XY was required to allow Good Programs to be a research and development site. customers. In sound project management the original scope should be completed before adding additional scope items (Ferrell. this did not occur in XY’s case because there was a project steering committee that consisted of managers with differing outcome needs to suit their particular work environment. and have meticulous schedules using Gantt or PERT charts. In sounds project management there is clear communication among “stakeholders including project staff. resulting with a completed project by the projected completion date (Ferrell. However there are no reliable reports as to the actual scope. . 83-96). I also learned that Good programs offered additional free features that were not in the original scope and in return. Good Programs was apparently under contract with XY. vendors. With an original objective of completing the project within a budget of $1. schedule.5 million.

1). he or she should answer the following questions: What tasks have been completed? What is the progress of the tasks that are in the process of being completed? What tasks still need to be done? 3. 2. most likely time.operations management. however PERT also assess the “most efficient way of shortening time on urgent projects. provide a basis for scheduling when the tasks will be carried out. 88). allow a manager to allocate the appropriate resources for the project. “A good project manager controls communication by putting processes into place that structure those communications so work can proceed effectively” (Ferrell. for a stage in a project to be completed (Mind Tools. “they have become a standard part of the project management toolkit” (Ferrell. Following the successful use of Gantt charts in the Hoover Damn and the Interstate Highway Project. find out what Good Programs was specifically scoped to do and the projected schedule. 1). Gantt charts help plan out the tasks that need to be completed. and longest time. The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is similar to the Gantt chart in the information it provides. . The project manager should then attempt to find the original contract. The first step in bringing this project to a close is to identify a project manager to oversee the project. Steps to Bring Project to a Close: 1. If the project manager finds the original contract and it is clear that Good Programs has violated it.” by using estimates on the shortest time. 87). executive management etc” (Ferrell. and help work out the critical path for a project (Mind Tools. then XY should enforce the contract and if necessary use legal procedures. As project manager. . For projects to be completed on time they must be meticulously scheduled. 84).

231 $ 11.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.” In addition.538 $ 7.692 $ 19.692 $ 19.154 121.154 171.000 $ 300. etc.692 $ 19. Mangers Programers phone.000 $ 7.000 $ 150. and state a specific schedule using Gantt or PERT charts. 2002.400. I recommend the contract have a clear scope and include the following statement “Good Programs will implement and supply the necessary hardware and software to replace and improve XY’s computer systems over 87 sites by June 30.231 $ 11.692 $ 7.692 $ 125.154 46.154 121.692 $ 125. I recommend that the contract contain a specific budget.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.692 $ 75.538 $ 7.692 $ 250. If the contract cannot be found I would recommend negotiating a new contract with Good Programs.538 $ 7.692 $ 7.692 $ 7.231 $ 11.231 $ 11.000 $ 7.000 $ 7.) $ 19.000 Good Programs Salary: Project Salary: Expenses (travel.538 $ 7.000 $ 7.692 $ 19.538 $ 7.000 $ 7.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.154 121. Recommended Budget.000 .692 $ 75.692 $ 125.231 $ 11.538 $ 7.692 $ 19.538 $ 7.154 171.000 $ 7.000 $ 500.000 $ 7.538 $ 7.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.692 $ 75.692 $ 19.538 $ 7.231 $ 11.000 $ 100.154 171.154 46.000 June July August September October November December January February March April May June Total $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 46.538 $ 7.692 $ 75. schedule and budget.000 $ 100.692 $ 7.231 $ 11.692 $ 19. The new contract should have a clear scope.538 $ 7.154 171. Gantt.538 $ 7.231 $ 11.154 1.4.231 $ 11.692 $ 7.154 121.154 46. and PERT charts to implement the project: Recommended Budget: Total by Month XY Project Manager Hardware Software $ 7.692 $ 125.154 46.692 $ 19.538 $ 7.

0 37250.0 37350.0 37500.0 37300.0 37450.0 37150.0 37400.Recommended Gantt Chart: Task 7: Install Hardware/software in 21 sites Task 6: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 5: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Start Date Task 4: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 3: Project Manager writes a new contract Completed Remaining Task 2: Pick a project manager Task 1: High Level Analysis 37000.0 Task 1: High Level Analysis Task 2: Pick a project manager Task 3: Project Manager writes a new contract Task 4: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 5: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 6: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 7: Install Hardware/software in 21 sites Start Date Completed Remaining 06/01/01 0 62 7/1/2001 0 7 9/2/2001 0 29 10/1/2001 0 74 1/1/2002 0 74 3/1/2002 0 74 5/1/2002 0 75 .0 37050.0 37200.0 37100.

within the last couple of decades project managers and offices have grown because managers have begun to realize that “only about 40 percent of projects actually achieve their goals” (Ferrell. 87). However. A good project manager does two things: “one is to provide a common set of tools and frameworks for defining and running projects and. 87). a well run Project Management office or manager should “increase the probability that an individual project will succeed and increase the visibility into the risk that an individual project will fail” (Ferrell.Recommended PERT chart: Recommended Improvements for Future Projects: XY’s future projects should use strong project manager(s). According to Ferrell. perhaps just as .

be a good communicator. and implementation” (Ferrell. and be able to create and utilize budgets. for future endeavors a project manager is a critical part to a project’s success. Scope changes can become increasingly detailed and complex and if the proper attention is not applied in documenting these changes then the project will have potential to fail. Complex projects involve multiple participants. Project managers make sure the project is completed by the projected date by utilizing the good project management practices stated earlier: clear scope. be able to make hard decisions. 84) the understanding of a project’s scope is developed as “we move through analysis. structured contracts and budgets. design. Although the hiring of a project manager should increase the chances of a project being completed there are always going to be potential shortfalls and unforeseen variables that could cause a project to fail. Because projects are “progressively elaborated” (Ferrell. be able to understand contracts. Selecting a Project Manger: As stated above. and PERT charts. However if issues are dealt with and documented appropriately a project manager can make decisions and change schedules or budgets if necessary to solve the problem and still complete the project. Advice to CEO: . sounds communication. and meticulous schedules using Gantt or PERT charts. 84). Projects can fail due to lack of communication among participants and the division of labor in a large group (Ferrell. A project manager should be organized. 84). Gantt charts.importantly provide a set of reporting tools that produce uniform data information that can be aggregated and summarized though activities and tasks all the way up to business process” (Ferrell 90).

In conclusion for future XY projects it is critical to choose a reliable project manager who uses sound project management practices that include a stating a clear scope. creating structured contracts and budgets. expressing clear communication. and scheduling project tasks using Gantt or PERT charts. . A project manager who uses these techniques will increase the chances of a project being completed on time and within budget.

com/pages/article/newPPM_03.mindtools. Mind Tools. Mind Tools. 03 Mar.htm>. Web.Project Management Tools” Mind Tools – Management Training. 2011.Works Cited Ferrell. Leadership Training and Career Training. "The Five Pillars of Project Management Infrastructure. <http://www.Management Training. Mind Tools. 03 Mar. 2011.2 (2010): 83-96."Digital Asset Management 6.mindtools.An Interview with Glenn Ferrell. Leadership Training and Career Training. Web.com/critpath. "Critical Path Analysis and PERT " Mind Tools . Glenn. <http://www. Print. 2011.html>. Mind Tools. 2011. . "Gantt Charts .

Slide 1 Slide 2 .

schedule. •Department has received a request for an additional $185. •No records of the original scope.Assessment of Current Status PROJECT •Project has not been completed. Slide 3 Sound Project Management Practices entail… ü Clear scope ü Structured contracts and budgets ü Sound communication ü Meticulous schedule using Gantt or PERT charts ü Be completed by the projected completion date Slide 4 . or budget. scope changes.000. • Department has incurred unanticipated overhead.

000 $ 7. Mangers Programers phone.231 $ 11.000 $ 7.000 $ 500.000 $ 150.692 $ 7.000 Good Programs Salary: Project Salary: Expenses (travel.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.154 46.692 $ 19.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.000 $ 7.692 $ 7.692 $ 75. and Gantt or PERT charts Slide 5 Recommended Budget Total by Month XY Project Manager Hardware Software $ 7. etc.692 $ 125.692 $ 19. Answer the following questions: what tasks have been completed? What tasks still need to be finished? What tasks still need to be done? 3.538 $ 7.000 $ 7.154 121.154 46.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.538 $ 7.400.000 $ 100.538 $ 7.538 $ 7.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.154 1.692 $ 75.154 171.154 46.538 $ 7.000 $ 7.) $ 19.154 171.692 $ 125.538 $ 7.154 171.Write a new contract 5.692 $ 75.538 $ 7.692 $ 125.538 $ 7.000 $ 7.154 121.000 $ 100.692 $ 7.231 $ 11.692 $ 19.154 46.Bring Project to a Close 1.538 $ 7.231 $ 11.154 121.538 $ 7.000 $ 300.692 $ 75.692 $ 19.692 $ 125.692 $ 19.231 $ 11.538 $ 7.231 $ 11.000 June July August September October November December January February March April May June Total $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 46.154 121. Create budget.000 Slide 6 .000 $ 7.692 $ 250.231 $ 11.538 $ 7.692 $ 7.231 $ 11.538 $ 7.154 171.231 $ 11. Enforce original contract if found 4.692 $ 7. Hire a project manager Project Manager should… 2.692 $ 19.

2 7 10.3 6 8.Gantt Chart Task 7: Install Hardware/software in 21 sites Task 6: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 5: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 4: Install Hardware/software in 22 sites Task 3: Project Manager writes a new contract Task 2: Pick a project manager Task 1: High Level Analysis 10/01/00 01/09/01 04/19/01 07/28/01 11/05/01 02/13/02 05/24/02 09/01/02 Start Date Completed Remaining Slide 7 10.4 .8 Pick Project Manager 3 1.3 8 10.1 Weeks 1 0 High level analysis 2 7.3 5 Recommended PERT Chart 10.8 Weeks 1 Week 4.8 Project Manager writes a new contract 4 4.

Slide 8 Slide 9 .