Working as part of the after school tutoring program has been a joy. Last year I was in charge of teaching technology lessons. At the beginning of the program, my function was simply to teach the predesigned lessons. When I was given the first lesson, I realized that most of the students had done the same lesson last year. Additionally, it did not teach them any new skills. When I brought this to the director’s attention and asked what the next few lessons were, she changed the scope of the project. Suddenly I was designing technology lessons for an undetermined amount of time with no guidelines. Additionally, she held a derby for two schools and took two field trips that were not a part of the original design of the tutoring program. She also ran four clubs within the program that were not a part of the scope. I was also asked to run two parent nights, where only one was originally scheduled for this program. This is a prime example of scope creep, which is a very common occurrence with projects (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).
Our project manager did not have a plan to deal with scope creep. Instead, every time she was asked to do something additional she chose a person from within the tutoring staff and assigned the project. While I enjoyed my part, the lack of guidelines for the additional requirements caused a lack of uniformity within the structure of the clubs. Additionally, attendance at the extra events was poor. This was a direct impact of scope creep.
When dealing with scope creep, it is important to have a plan for contingencies and to think through each change and the effect on the overall project. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your stakeholders about how these changes will affect the project before deciding on changes (Lynch & Roecker, 2007). Once changes have been made, all stakeholders should be aware of their additional responsibilities. The project manager should communicate often with the affected personnel to insure that changes are being made in a consistent and appropriate manner (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton & Kramer, 2008).
Laureate Education, Inc., (2010). Monitoring Projects. [Web]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3398237_1%26url%3D
Lynch, M., & Roecker, J. (2007). Controlling the Project. In M. Lynch, & J. Roecker, Project managing e-learning: A handbook for successful design, delivery, and management (pp. 94-108). London: Taylor & Francis Group.
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project Management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.