PLM Scope Creep

One of the biggest killers of PLM projects is scope creep.

If your objective is to eat a 250 pound Tuna, you can’t do it in a single bite.  You need to break up the eating of that Tuna into smaller portions [milestones].  Create a workable plan to eat the Tuna over time.

I like to start with goals and objectives for the initial project.  My next question is ‘How will management determine if this project is successful?’  Obviously, if you can be successful on phase 1, you are more likely to get phase 2 and subsequent phases approved.

While defining your initial project, remember that the odds of success go down over time – the longer the project, the easier it is for people to lose interest.  My recommendation – choose a scope that can be successful in less than a year’s time.

Start with a statement of work.  I like to use this document to make sure that we are all speaking the same language.  The customer has a vision for their solution and the implementer needs to be able to see that vision.  The statement of work should delineate the scope of the project.

I spend a lot of time discussing scope for a couple of reasons:

  • Scope creep can make it more difficult to complete the project successfully.
  • The implementer bases his quote for the work on the statement of work.  If you alter that statement of work, the      price goes up and it takes longer to implement.

Unless the change to the statement of work is critical, it may not be worth making the change in phase 1.  Wait until later phases to make the changes.

Your thoughts…

What would you add to this discussion?


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