We’ll return to some of the project documents listed here later in this chapter. If you can think of it, it’s probably been included in some project’s Sign-off meeting.
For the project team, this can be the occasion for a celebration of a well-constructed plan, as well as the kick-off of a grand new project.
We forgot to mention denim shirts with the project’s logo, but they’re a nice touch. (Feel free to send us a couple.
We’re also fond of the low-profile baseball caps.) Project can’t embroider shirts yet, but it can provide many of the other documents you may want to include in the presentation materials for the Sign-off meeting:
• Summary Reports: Critical Tasks report, summary Gantt Charts, Top Level Tasks report, Milestones report, Project Summary report
• Proposed timelines: Gantt Charts, Calendars
• Budget information: Budget report, Cash Flow report, Crosstab report
• Staffing: Task Usage report, Resource Usage report
In this list, the reports outnumber views. If you don’t See information you need to present in a report, you’ll usually be able to provide it by customizing and printing a view. Examine the complete list of views and reports in .fhapters 17 and 18, where you’ll also find help on customizing views to meet your stakeholders’ information requirements.
Project 2000’s reporting capabilities are limited, but its exporting and importing functions are fabulous. If you’re comfortable working in Excel, consider exporting tables to Excel to create tables, charts, and summary reports. See for detailed information on importing and exporting in Project 2000.
Tools to Avoid Scope Creep
Scope management begins with the project definition and continues through the entire project, but it should be a primary consideration as you prepare for the project Sign-off. The scope management plan is a tool to help you manage expectations.
The scope management plan has two parts: the change assessment and a description of the change process. The change assessment is an estimate of how likely the project’s scope is to change. The scope management plan isn’t a list of measurable potential, but management’s best guess about how the risk assessment and slack in the plan compare to the changing environment that the project plan operates within.
If, for example, you used Pert to estimate durations (see , “Assessing and Managing Risks” for more about using PERT), the plan is less likely to change than if all duration’s were entered without analysis. If the environment is relatively static during the life ‘Of the project, the scope is less likely to change than if business rules are in flux and the organization is trying to respond. If the stakeholders have a clear understanding of the project, scope is also less likely to change. To complete a change assessment, list the potential sources of scope change during the life of the project. For each source, use a three-point scale to indicate whether change from that source is likely, unlikely, or unknown.
As the project progresses, pay close . attention to the likely and unknown sources of scope change. The second section of the scope management plan is the change request process.
The process outlines the steps for handling change requests subsequent to the Sign-off meeting. Typically, when change requests are received, they are evaluated to determine whether the change falls within the current scope as defined in the project documents provided in the Sign-off meeting. If it does not, the’ project manager determines the following:
• The cost to implement the request
• The amount of delay, if any, if the request is implemented
• Other areas of the project impacted by implementing the request
The process includes an authorization process for requests that don’t fall within the project scope. In most organizations, requests that don’t increase the budget, extend the timeline, or delay deliverables can be approved. by the project manager. The project
manager may also have authority within a range.
For example, the project manager can approve change requests that delay the project less than one day if the total scope change delay is less than one week or costs less than one thousand dollars to implement, provided that the total project cost overrun is less than ten thousand dollars.
The change request process outlines the way requests that exceed the project manager’s discretion are handled.
Experienced project managers report their secret to avoiding scope creep is to manage expectations: specifically, to manage stakeholders’ expectations of the project deliverable. Whether your project’s deliverable are soft goods, services, or durable goods, the
project manager needs to clearly communicate the process for collecting, evaluating, and accepting recommended additions or modifications to the project plan.
The sign-off meeting has three key scope-related deliverable for the project manager. They aren’t physical deliverable, so it’s harder to know whether you’ve actually delivered, but the goal is that at the end of the sign-off process, you want stakeholders to understand the following: .
• What they’re going-to get-the deliverable included in the project
• What they’re not going to get-the deliverable that are nondeductible in the project
• How to get something different-the change request process At the end of the sign-off meeting, summarize the three items, In the packet of materials for the sign-off meeting, include an outline of the change process and change request forms (or directions for accessing online change forms).
Communicate with team members to make sure they understand the process for handling change requests that they receive directly from stakeholders.