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Agile "Specification by Example": How to manage scope creep?

 
Andy Norris
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Hi Gojko,

I have traditionally had a problem with scope creep. When working on projects without a competent project manager, projects tend to look nothing like what they originally started out to be.

In working on web projects, many of the projects are something like "agile"... in that changes are made incrementally.

What is your advice on managing expectations along the way -- both the client's and my own?

Thanks,
Andy
 
Gojko Adzic
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The process I describe as "deriving scope from goals" in the book is very good to manage scope creep. I've used techniques described there to control the scope of large enterprise projects and web gaming platforms alike. the key idea is that you limit the number of business goals a single milestone can achieve (I shoot for one goal at a time, but you might choose differently), and then work towards recognising stakeholders and values that the system needs to provide to achieve that goal. Google for feature injection and effect mapping to see some nice techniques to do that. See my whitepaper about effect maps. If you are based in London or near, you can come and hear me speak about that in about a week, and then some of my clients presenting an experience report. (see the event page on skills matter web site - they will probably film it so if you are not local you will be able to see a video there in about 10 days.

On more traditional projects, the same effect can be achieved with Goal-feature-requirement breakdown that Scott Berkun described in The Art of Project Management (he used it to control scope creep on MS Excel)

--
Gojko Adzic
http://gojko.net @gojkoadzic +447765132680
 
Andy Norris
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Thanks very much. I will look at what you suggested. Would love to visit London, but, alas, I'm stateside.

Thanks again,
Andy
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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