In this post, our third installment, we’re going to take a look at the project management activity of Scope Change Management.
Scope Change Management – What is it?
Scope Change Management is the process for managing changes to requirements and the scope of the business objective of a project. Scope Change management ensures the project functions from a set of requirements based on the organization’s business needs and is consistent with the project budget, effort, and schedule at all times.
Similar to Issue Management and Risk Management, there are many good reasons for rigorous Scope Change Management. At its most basic level, Scope Change Management provides a defined process for managing change to requirements, guidelines for approving and escalating changes to requirements, and an audit trail of changes to requirements.
Is there a Process?
Like most project management disciplines, Scope Change Management also has its own process. This process varies from organization to organization but a typical Scope Change Management process has the following high-level steps:
Identify and Document – Identify and document scope changes. Review with impacted areas. Assign scope change owners
Create Impact Analysis – Triage scope changes and assess the impact. Review and update analysis, as applicable.
Submit Recommendation – Submit and review recommendations. Decision each scope change (e.g., accept, reject, escalate). Communicate changes to project and update project (e.g., budget, resources, schedule, etc.) as appropriate.
Escalate – If the scope change is above organizational thresholds (e.g., budget, schedule, effort, etc.), escalate for higher level decision making.
A lot of information can be collected and used to define and manage scope changes. Let’s talk about a few of the more important fields here. These fields typically place a role in reporting.
Description – Brief description of the scope change.
Project – The project associated with the scope change.
Date Identified – Date the scope change was identified.
Created By – Person to who created the scope change.
Assigned To – Person to whom the scope change is assigned.
Scope Change Status – Status of the scope change (e.g., open, rejected, approved, closed).
Priority – The priority of the scope change (e.g., 1 - Critical = “can’t move forward until this change is resolved”; 2 - High = “decision is needed by the due date or will impact our ability to move forward”; 3 – Normal = “may impact our ability to move forward in the near future”; 4 - Low = “not impacting our ability to move forward”).
Business Impact Severity – The severity of the scope change’s impact on the business (e.g., 1 - Critical Impact = Threatens the success of the project; 2 - High Impact = Significant disruption to project schedule, cost, or quality; 3 – Normal Impact = Progress disrupted with manageable extensions to short-term schedule and cost; 4 - Low Impact = Exposure is slight).
CR Level – Escalation level of the scope change based on priority, severity and organizational thresholds (e.g., 1 – IT Executive, 2 – IT Director, 3 – Program Manager).
These basics provide a solid foundation to define the process in support of your implementation. If you would like more information about Scope Change Management or other project management best practices, please contact us! We’re here to help.