How carefully and closely is the project monitored?
Closely monitoring all aspects of the project allows a project manager to catch issues as they arise and reduce the risk of scope creep. Knowing where problems may arise in advance allows for better planning and more flexibility. This also allows project teams to collaborate in a more efficient manner and take advantage of brainstorming opportunities to maximize valuable experience and improve problem resolution in a timely manner. Projects have a way of becoming derailed very quickly if issues go unchecked.
What can seem like the smallest hiccup can rapidly turn into cost overruns, time delays or a change to the quality of a product or service. Project managers need to keep a close eye on the status of all aspects to ensure they are not missing any internal or external obstacles that may throw the project out of scope. Keeping lines of communication open with all stakeholders, team members and management as well as being transparent when obstacles arise can go a long way to success and avoid unnecessary scope creep.
There are times when scope creep is unavoidable such as organizational changes in direction, restructuring and other internal or external factors such as legislative, legal and policy changes that affect the scope. These are changes due to the business fundamentals and the resulting decisions and direction regarding the impact on the scope of the project rest on the leaders of the organization. The key is to avoid or reduce any unnecessary changes to the scope of the project that can in turn impede the success of the organization as a whole.
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