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Control – part 4 - What?


We have referred to time, cost, quality (and performance) earlier.
We must also consider the scope of the project.
This would be agreed and documented in the Project Notebook and the Terms of Reference document.
The scope could change.

Also, issues arising in the project may necessitate a review of the scope.
It is important to consider the limitations of the project.
When considering the scope it is necessary to think about what is included and equally what isn’t for the project and define limits for these.

What and who might be affected?
For example, other projects, sites, groups and jobs.
Consider non users of the project’s product.
Is the project local or does it have wider application and impact?
State the project boundaries.

A scope boundary is not quite the same as a constraint, which is usually beyond the control of the Project Manager, for example, funding restrictions.

Whatever parameters are set for the scope the Project Manager must resist going over these boundaries even if it seems easy at the time.
For example, if the scope suggests that a particular system should only be installed in one facility but it would be technically possible to install in another as well, without loss of time there may be a temptation to do so.

This should be heavily resisted even if it would be a benefit to the customer.
You will never be sure that you won’t hit problems, extra costs etc and what is worse end up missing the main projects intended targets.

When we consider time we should not just concern ourselves with the end date, as this will be dependent upon many other tasks.
We must focus on individual tasks, which in turn affect milestones. In particular we must concentrate on the critical tasks.
If tasks are on track so are costs … in theory.

However, some method of logging, say monthly, should exist on effort expended upon a project.
This can then be turned into costs via the accounting department.
Any discrepancies from theory can then be reviewed.
When a schedule goes awry extra expenditure may be required to get it back on track, if this is possible.
This could be extra effort or equipment.
There must be suitably agreed testing procedures in place to assure quality and performance.