PART 7 – Changes to Cost, Schedule, and Performance are not controlled
A common problem that we regularly see with clients in a broad spectrum of industries is that many people simply don’t have the ability to plan their section of the work required for the project to be successful.
Planning isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most people. It requires determined, focused mental effort – as Henry Ford is reputed to have said: “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it!” There are tools to assist with project planning, but these don’t necessarily break down the project into the component step-by-step parts that each individual will need to contribute.
Even project teams with the best intentions suffer the challenges of “Scope Creep,” and there are a number of contributing factors. For example, project team members often don’t have a complete understanding of projects during the planning phase and make changes to the work they’re doing past the half-way point of the project. Project managers agree to changes without due process, in an effort to provide good customer service, without understanding the changes being requested.
“Managers are uncomfortable with limits.” “They want the flexibility to make changes when they think of them because they live in a world which is constantly changing and they’re constantly making adjustments to provide better customer service, better service to their clients in this living operating environment.”
However, a muddy change process becomes a circle that causes the schedule to slip, tasks to be late, and has a potentially negative overall project impact.
“The people who complained the most about scope creep are the people who make the changes”. “Those are the project managers and the team members.” A clean process is needed for addressing Task, Deliverable and Project level change to maintain efficiency and understanding while maintaining control over Cost, Schedule, and Performance variables on the project and respecting project authority.
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