W3 Discussion – PM Topic: Literature Review 2 1. Primary Post: Post

W3 Discussion – PM Topic: Literature Review 2 

1. Primary Post: Post at least one primary response.

A minimum of two responses to fellow students must be posted on separate days by midnight (EST) Sunday. This will earn you a grade of B. You must exceed the minimum to earn full credit.

In this Week’s discussion, search for an additional five or more peer-reviewed papers that discuss/address your topic of interest and investigation. The main objective of reading these different papers is to add to your previous literature review search and enhance your understanding of what other researchers in the field have done. After reading the additional five articles or more, update the Table you created in Week 2 and summarize each research found about your topic of interest.

 

Paper Title

Author/s and year of publication: (i.e., Author last name, 2021)

Research question/s

Research design/methodology (i.e., survey, literature review, mathematical mode, etc.)

Main findings/results

Suggestions for future research (if any)

6

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write a summary description of what you have found from your readings for this week.

2. Secondary Responses: Post at least two of your secondary responses to other students’ discussions no later than Sunday evening by 11:59 pm of the same week. Please provide your feedback on their topics by asking questions and critiquing the investigation for any two primary posts.

Jianhao

Hi all, 

My research topic for this course is scope management, which identifies and determines the goals, tasks, deliverables, outcomes, and benefits (Kissflow, Inc, 2022). As a reminder, here is the list of my research questions (for now). 

How do you define project scopes precisely? 

How to create a project scope management plan, or what will be involved in project scope management?    

What are project management software applications available? 

Last week, I presented five papers that focus on the importance, processes, techniques, and tools for Scope Management. This week, I dug deeper into these topics. 

Generally, we have six processes in Scope Management. In research from Abdilahi et al. (2000), the authors rank the importance of project scope processes of telecommunication projects in Somaliland by computing Cronbach’s Alpha, mean values, and Relative Importance Index (RII). Their results indicate that the top two essential processes are scope control and project scope validation. Ogunberu et al. (2016) is another journal article related to Scope Management in telecommunication organizations in Nigeria. The study focuses on determining factors affecting the choice of project Scope Management practices and reveals the four major scope management processes are defining project scope, creating WBS, and controlling scope. Both studies indicate that controlling scope is one of the most significant tasks among Scope Management processes, though they have otherwise different conclusions.  

Scope Management can be viewed differently by different project management methods and standards, as summarized in the research from Al-Rubaiei et al. (2018). For example, some treat the Scope Management as a full details list of works that are hard to change when a project starts, while many believe the task is an approximate list that the project owners and team can debate as the project develops. In terms of Scope Management methods, Rehman et al. (2010) compare agile and traditional methods in software development methods. The paper discusses how software development projects can adapt and manage the scope using these two methods in terms of cost, resources, and time.     

Inspired by last week’s discussion, I also obtained another related to the involvement of project stakeholders in the processes of Scope Management. Heravi and Trigunarsyah (2015) examine the level of stakeholder involvement during the planning process of the projects. The results reveal the engagement levels of the four stakeholder groups.   

References

Abdilahi, S. M., Fakunle, F. F., & Fashina, A. A. (2000). Exploring how project scope management processes influence the implementation of telecommunication projects. PM World Journal, 9(5).

Al-Rubaiei, Q. H. S., Nifa, F. A. A., & Musa, S. (2018). Al-Rubaiei, Q. H. S., Nifa, F. A. A., & Musa, S. (2018). Project scope management effect on variation orders in government funded projects: a proposed study on the sultanate of Oman. Malaysian Construction Research Journal, 3(1), 52–62.

Heravi, A., & Trigunarsyah, B. (2015). Heravi, A., Coffey, V., & Trigunarsyah, B. (2015). Evaluating the level of stakeholder involvement during the project planning processes of building projects. International Journal of Project Management, 33(5), 985–997.

Kissflow, Inc. (2022, March 28). What is Project Scope Management and Why is it Important? Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://kissflow.com/project/project-scope-management/

Ogunberu, A. O., Olaposi, T. O., & Akintelu, S. O. (2016). Ogunberu, A. O., Olaposi, T. O., & Akintelu, S. O. (2016). Factors affecting the choice of project scope management practices among telecommunication organizations. Global J. Manage, 16(3), 13–20.

Rehman, I. U., Ullah, S., Rauf, A., & Shahid, A. A. (2010). Scope management in agile versus traditional software development methods. Proceedings of the 2010 National Software Engineering Conference on – NSEC ’10, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1145/1890810.1890820

Oluwatowoju

Scope creep is one of the top five reasons for project failure. It results in increased cost, effort, and time. To manage the challenge of scope creep, we must put change management processes in place; and the PM and project team must learn to say “No” to unreasonable or unscrupulous clients (Doraiswamy, Shiv, 2012, p.16).

I believe that ‘Scope Creep’ is a major crux that impedes the ultimate realization of project success. 

The research papers I will be discussing are highly relevant in analyzing scope creep, and in addressing some of the questions that I have posed as a part of my research: the most common causes of scope creep, how to prevent scope creep, and how to manage scope creep.

Ajmal, Khan, & Al-Yafei (2020) identified major factors of scope creep by conducting a commonality analysis of stakeholders’ views by means of an interview-based industry research method. The results of their study offers insights into the integrated perspectives of four stakeholder groups: Project Teams, PMOs, consultants, and clients/customers. 

These stakeholder groups found the following to be causes of scope creep: poor communication; change in customer’s requirements; a lack of comprehensive specifications; a lack of organization for task execution; imprecise language in describing specifications; uncertainty; risks; overlapping tasks; lack of technical expertise and skills; technical complexity of a project; and a lack of internal and external stakeholders’ involvement in risk identification. 

The researchers hone in on poor communication as a major cause of scope creep- they recommend that project managers expand their efforts in establishing a well-grounded communication plan, and make sure that communication incorporates building relationships and not a mere means of exchanging information. Project management must consider the social relationships with project stakeholders in order to effectively shape the project scope (Ajmal et al., 2020).

Tsiga et al. (2017) advise that managing project scope is the best solution to eliminating any ambiguity and uncertainty in projects.
Dekkers & Forselius (2007) conclude that scope management plays a key role in achieving a project’s goals, simultaneously satisfying the customer’s needs.

It is important for PMs to balance the expectations of all the relevant stakeholders involved. PMs should carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the effects of proposed changes, and convey clearly, and in writing to stakeholders, the consequences of such changes. Like Dr.C. mentioned in last week’s lecture; during project execution, an inexperienced PM could become flattered by a satisfied client, and agree to make changes without factoring in the effects- scope creep and perhaps even project failure. 

Ajmal et al. (2020) suggest that a comprehensive analysis of stakeholders’ opinions, regarding the factors that hinder effective project scope, would help project managers balance the expectations of all involved stakeholders, through obtaining the highest benefits at the lowest costs. Project management must consider the social relationships with project stakeholders in order to effectively shape the project scope.

A successful and efficient project is one that achieves its goals within the budget, on time, and as per the standards, while satisfying the client (Ferrada & Serpell, 2013). According to the PMI as cited in Ajmal et al. (2020), 19% of all projects fail, and more than 50% of these suffer scope creep.

The farther along a project is, the more expensive it is to make changes (PMI, 2021). 

Nasr and Kuprenas (2003), analyzed the scope impacts of ninety-six projects as the change in Design Phase Cost Performance Index (DCPI). The average DCPI for projects with design phase scope creep was 80% higher than the average DCPI for projects without design phase scope creep. They found that scope creep increased the design phase cost from 40% to 80%. Additionally, incomplete predesign requirements became scope creep budget problems.
In controlling scope creep, they recommend the following : 

   –  The use of client department memorandum of understanding (MOU)
   –  The use of a program oversight/ a review committee.
   –  A formalization of predesign procedures, guidelines, responsibilities, and deliverables.

The researchers recommend each of these tools as effective in controlling scope creep and even more so, when used in conjunction. 

As I continue to research scope creep, a reoccurring theme in the management of, and in controlling against scope creep, is requirements management. It is evident that a clear, well-managed scope is a key element to successful projects.

 

References

Ajmal, M., Khan, M., & Al-Yafei, H. (2020). Exploring Factors Behind Project Scope Creep- Stakeholders’ Perspective. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 13(3), 483-504.

Dekkers, C., & Forselius, P. (2007). Increase ICT project success with concrete scope management. 33rd EUROMICRO Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications. Lubeck, August 28-31. 385-392.

Doraiswamy, P., & Shiv, P. (2012). 50 Top IT Project Management Challenges. IT Governance Publishing.

Ferrada, X., & Serpell, A. (2013). Using organizational knowledge for the selection of construction methods. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 6(3), 606-614.

Nasr, E.B., & Kuprenas, J.A. (2003). Controlling Design-Phase Scope Creep. AACE International Transactions, 1(1). https://doi.org/info:doi/

Project Management Institute. (2021). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (7th ed.). Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.

Tsiga, Z., Emes, M., & Smith, A. (2017). Critical success factors for projects in the petroleum industry. Procedia Computer Science,121(1), 224-231. https://doi: 10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.031.

Miranda

This week I spent time reflecting on Godfred’s response to my discussion post last week, specifically when he stated that scope creep “…may be necessary to accommodate some relevant additions if it was missed out during the requirement gathering to be able to deliver acceptable deliverables.” In Craig Keifer’s article “Scope Creep…not necessarily a bad thing”, he states that “…scope creep can be devastating to a project, the pressure to increase the scope of a project will always be there and, if properly managed, provides significant opportunities for the performing organization.” He goes on to mention that scope creep puts up red flags, yes, but it can also “…be indicative of other problems in the project…” (Keifer). Scope creep can often be seen as the root issue, but in reality, it could just be the easiest crack on the surface to identify, assess, and fix. I believe there are some gaps in research around the successes that have come from scope creep as my findings were limited.

In my other readings this week, I explored how the concept of agile project management is being leveraged as a way to limit scope creep. The agile methodology focuses on three things “sense of ownership and authority, quick and easy changes of direction, and resourceful and adaptable” (White). Scope creep can occur in plan-driven projects (typically waterfall) and the agile methodology allows for change and drive delivery by focusing on the most important features (Slinger). With many government projects, waterfall tends to be the norm, however agile is on the rise. “The reasons for the public sector’s trend toward agile delivery practices are obvious to agilistas: Software projects that use agile report higher success rates than their waterfall counterparts, and agile’s focus on breaking large initiatives into small, manageable chunks can address the tendency toward cost and scope creep that has hobbled many government IT projects. (In 2004, for example, the average U.S. government software project lasted nine years and cost US$144 million. These days, it’s eight months and less than US$2 million)” (Hendershot). 

Looking into the final weeks of research, I am going to focus on my second overall research question – what tools are used or have been used to combat scope creep? I touched a bit on that with the agile methodology, however, I am looking for tools like the stakeholder map and exclusions & assumptions logs that have been brought up in past discussions. I am looking forward to getting to the problem-solving aspect of the paper. 

 

Sources

 Aizaz, Khan, S. U. R., Khan, J. A., Inayat-Ur-Rehman, & Akhunzada, A. (2021). An Empirical Investigation of Factors Causing Scope Creep in Agile Global Software Development Context: A Conceptual Model for Project Managers. IEEE Access, 9, 109166–109195. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3100779

Hendershot, S. (2018). Public Domain: Government Software Teams Are Adopting Agile—And Shedding Bureaucratic Stereotypes. PM Network, 32(2), 44–49.

Keifer, S. C. (1996). Scope creep … not necessarily a bad thing. PM Network, 10(5), 33–35.

Sliger, M. (2010). Goodbye, scope creep—hello, agile! Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2010—North America, Washington, DC. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

White, K. R. J. (2008). Agile project management: a mandate for the changing business environment. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2008—North America, Denver, CO. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.