The project management of digital transformation can easily turn into a horror story (beware, beware the Scope Creeper). Due to the scale of the business change, sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend which aspects of innovation need to be included where.
That’s where the dreaded scope creep comes in. An occurrence that can happen on any project, particularly a large one like the digital transformation of your business.
So what is scope creep anyway? Yes, it’s a project manager’s worst nightmare, but its official definition is:
A nightmare on Scope Street
Ultimately, scope creep can cause the project to extend out of control and the key goal of the project becomes lost, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Scope creep is disastrous for the project because it means that eventually, the project collapses under its own weight. Something you definitely don’t want for your digital transformation, something we know that needs to be approached with less haste, more speed.
How it creeps in
When the scope of your project begins to spiral out of control, there are a number of key reasons it’s come to this.
- Poor goal setting
- Lack of communication with the stakeholders of the project
- Changes not controlled
- Lack of experience
- Adding new aspects, just because you can
Instead of you having to experience scope creep as part of your digital transformation journey, we’ve set out how you can avoid it all together.
Break it down
One way to avoid project creep is to reduce the size of the project in the first place. If it can be broken down into smaller discreet projects, or even applications, these can be implemented separately reducing the risk and impact on the business. Small progressive steps are often the way to take the sting out of change.
The Five Point Plan to Digital Transformation
Projects need a plan. Particularly larger ones like digital transformation. At Britannic, we’ve developed a roadmapping methodology that will help banish scope creep from the picture.
The Five D’s ensure that digital transformation projects are delivered: on time, on budget and more than meet expectations. Roadmapping with the Five D’s consists of the following stages:
- Discover – Means the goal of the project is clear.
- Demonstrate – Tackles every angle of what the business wants to achieve and removes the risk.
- Design – Makes sure the best solution is suggested.
- Deliver – The project is delivered in accordance with PRINCE2.
- Develop – There is continued review and improvements once the project has been delivered.
Managing Scope Creep with PRINCE2
Utilising PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments), is a process-based method for effective project management. It’s a best practice framework to utilise for ensuring the success of projects like those for digital transformation, which is why we adhere to this method when managing projects at Britannic Technologies.
The framework means that the project is unable to run out of control projects. PRINCE2, defines six aspects or variables of a project that the project manager has to manage:
Learn to say no
Sometimes it’s just about saying no. In the interest of the project, managing scope creep is a leadership responsibility. It’s about ensuring that the project is still meeting the core digital transformation goals.
Being critical is key. The next time one of your colleagues attempts to extend the scope of the project, avoid making value judgements. Instead ask: ‘Why?’ and keep asking it until you can clearly determine whether the area of scope is worth adding. And if not, bypass it completely.