Posted in Uncategorized

Analyzing Scope Creep

E-lesson

My instructional design team works on e-lesson projects for our company. Following the project management process we plan out the project, analyze the content, develop a plan and timeline. We have experienced scope creep with projects when we start off in one direction, following specifications, then as we start going through reviews the SME’s start adding content, thinking it is adding value. There are instances when it is valued add, but there are times when the new content is either not needed or could be used in additional e-lessons.

change-requests

What is Project Scope?

Scope is what a project manager commits to deliver early in the life of a project. It is defined during the requirements analysis phase of a project. Working closely with the customer and users the project manager identifies what is needed to bring about the project objectives. Scope is recorded in the project documentation and agreed with all affected parties (Haughey, 2016).

The major causes of scope creep are:

•Poor Requirements Analysis

•Not Involving Users Early Enough

•Underestimating the Complexity of the Project

•Lack of Change Control

•Gold Plating (Haughey, 2016).

For the scope creep that my team has experience, I will focus on what I have to be called gold plating. Gold plating is the term given to the practice of exceeding the scope of a project in the belief it is adding value. This term is a new term that I was not familiar with before this research. I knew what scope creep was, but gold plating was new. It was interesting to learn what it meant. In projects, it is not unusual for SME’s and stakeholders to add new features once development begins and reviews begin believing they will be adding value to the learner. These changes consume time and most times budget and are not guaranteed to increase the value for the learner. The solution to this problem is to make sure all team members are fully aware of the project scope and concentrate on delivering it and nothing more. The PM team needs to ensure specifications are detailed enough to avoid any ambiguity that may lead to unnecessary work. In the end, the PM should reward team members for delivering to specifications, on time and budget. The PM needs to make it clear that undocumented content should not be added, but instead put through the change control process.

References:

Haughey, Duncan. “STOP SCOPE CREEP RUNNING AWAY WITH YOUR PROJECT.” Project Smart. Jan. 2016. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.

Portney, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., & Sutton, M. M. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2016). Practitioner voices: You Can’t Win Them All [Video]. Available from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_13735866_1&content_id=_31783983_1

Posted in Uncategorized

Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

After researching budget tool, I have found two resources that would be useful in estimating costs, effort, and/or activity duration associated with instructional design (ID) projects. I conducted a search for estimating project costs and budgeting. I found that Microsoft has a lot of very useful tools, including some tips to help prepare a budget. Microsoft did a good job of breaking down a budget including setting pay rates, entering per-use costs, entering fixed costs, setting types of tasks, and assigning resources.

budget

The first website that I am going to talk about is called Project Management Guru. The Project Budget is the time-based spreadsheet that shows the project team’s intent to spend the organization’s resources on project activities. Once the Project Budget is created, the intended costs for each time period are summed in each column. The only thing that I would consider as missing form this resource would be a template. This article takes you step-by-step and includes information on how to create a project budget.

Finally, the website Bright Hub was very useful. Having a sound foundation of the basic concepts is often the best empowerment tool for any undertaking. Otherwise, one could lose track of what’s important and realistic, which are pivotal to every project budget (Levine, 2011). This website provides ways of organizing your budget and templates to help the project manager. The template that is provided seems very basic and easy to use. They have also provided what should and should not be included in the project management budget. The information on this site seems to give the reader a place to get started.

Resources:

“Project Resource/Budget Planning Tools & Techniques.” Project Management Guru. Web. 3 Feb. 2016. http://www.projectmanagementguru.com/resourceplan.html#budget

“Project Management Learning Guide to Budgeting, Costing, Estimating and Controlling.” Bright hub. Web. 3 Feb. 2016.http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/75727.aspx