Scope creep? Bring it on

Ask any project manager the reasons why projects fail and one of the reasons cited will definitely be scope creep. But is scope creep really that bad? I don’t think so. Your view of the scope creep will depend on how you manage projects. You can manage projects as a contract or you can collaborate.

I think there will be a scope creep when there is a contract between the solution provider and the consumer. For example, it is notorious in the construction industry. In fact, some contractors want the consumer to change the scope in the middle of the project. That’s their way of making money; it is not like you are going to change contractors in the middle of the project. But if both parties collaborate, then scope creep as a reason for project failure just melts away.


You’ve got more capacity than you think

Managing a business today means leveraging your existing capability to maximize throughput. Why am I focusing on throughput? If you think about your organizational value stream, you only make money (or realize revenue) when you deliver a product or a service to your customer. Having a large volume of work within your organizational pipe while not delivering anything means your investments are tied up with work-in-progress inventory. The more work-in-progress inventory you have the more investments are needed. How are you going to fund this investment? The faster your deliver, the faster you realize revenue. Hence, the focus on throughput.


The journey from “Sure” to “No” to “Not now”

Recently I was invited to a meeting where the discussion was how to implement Kanban within the team. During the course of the conversation I said, “… we need to start saying “No” more often…” A colleague smiled, “Coming from you, that’s quite a change” I consider customers to be the greatest assets an organization […]


How to implement critical chain project management across the enterprise

I have frequently been asked – how would you actually implement Critical Chain project management? But before I get to that, why would you want to implement critical chain? If you work in an organization that follows traditional project management practices, it is likely that critical chain project management may appeal to your PMO. You […]


Flow in traditional project management process

Traditional project management resembles a PUSH system. A push system is where tasks are planned and scheduled. The time between requirements definition and delivery is so long that things change. Adding to the chaos is estimating, large batch size and requirement for high people utilization (in matrix organizations). Estimates are just that – Guesses. Building a schedule and a forecast based on guesses is a recipe for disaster. Yet this practice is condoned and encouraged.


Implement Kanban: Implement virtuous cycle of ongoing improvement

The hardest thing about implementing the Kanban is the paradigm shift in policies it leads to. “How can just visualizing work and limiting work improve throughput?” It’s so counter-intuitive. However, the very act of visualizing and limiting work highlights bottlenecks as they appear, giving you a chance to fix things before they become big issues. Implementing Kanban enterprise-wide, however, will need the blessing of senior management, specially if organization has been following traditional methods for a very long time. When going about leading the change, chances are that the people actual doing the work would absolutely love it since they get to see what’s within their queue. It is convincing the middle and the senior management that will be challenging. There’s also this perception of relinquishing control by the middle management. A paradigm shift indeed.

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