How Do Professionals Handle Projects With Continuously Changing Scopes?


    How Do Professionals Handle Projects With Continuously Changing Scopes?

    When faced with the challenge of a project with a shifting scope, we turned to top executives for their seasoned advice. From building flexibility into project plans to setting clear scope and revision limits, here are the four key strategies shared by COOs and CEOs on managing dynamic projects effectively.

    • Build Flexibility into Project Plans
    • Maintain Candidate Files for Future Use
    • Embrace Agile for Dynamic Projects
    • Set Clear Scope and Revision Limits

    Build Flexibility into Project Plans

    Dealing with projects with continuously changing scopes is never easy. Whenever the scope changes, you need to reevaluate the project timeline, impact, and more, meaning every change also adds to the delay of a completed project. With that being said, it's important to start every project with flexibility in mind. When you're creating a project plan, building something that is more flexible and accounts for changes will help you to adapt more easily when they happen (minimizing the impact and delay that can come from each change).

    When the changes do happen, a more flexible project plan will allow you to quickly assess what has been done so far, what needs to be adapted, and what can stay the same before you keep moving forward with the project. Preventing delays is a lot better than dealing with complex challenges when change occurs. So it's an effective method to assist you from early on in a project timeline.

    Lauren Carlstrom
    Lauren CarlstromCOO, Oxygen Plus

    Maintain Candidate Files for Future Use

    As a recruiter, I've been there. Contacts may start with one role, and then the client decides they need an entire department. Recently, though, it went the other way. I had a client planning to open a remote office, only to be buried under tax law that prevented the expansion at the last minute.

    Of course, I was frustrated, but I never let it show. There is no point. Instead, I dealt with the setback by opening a file on each candidate we'd interviewed. If the company is able to go forward in a year or two, I'll have a great place to start my search.

    Linn Atiyeh
    Linn AtiyehCEO, Bemana

    Embrace Agile for Dynamic Projects

    At Startup House, we embrace the dynamic nature of software development projects and understand that scope changes are inevitable. To effectively deal with such situations, we follow an agile approach that allows us to adapt and respond to evolving requirements.

    One specific instance that comes to mind is when we were developing a mobile app for a client. Initially, the client wanted a basic app with limited features. However, as the project progressed, they realized the potential for additional functionalities. Instead of resisting the changes, we embraced them and worked closely with the client to prioritize and incorporate the new features seamlessly. By maintaining open communication and a flexible mindset, we were able to deliver a final product that exceeded the client's expectations.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

    Set Clear Scope and Revision Limits

    We write out scopes of work and add language for scenarios where the scope changes. For example, if we are producing creative work, there are three rounds max of revisions within a maximum of five days per revision request. If the client is on round three, we advise them that any additional revisions will incur a cost as stated in the contract. Sometimes we'll get to round four of revision and not charge if we're done. However, the goal is to ensure the client understands the scope of our work and incurs extra fees if they want us to do more work, which hopefully encourages them to be efficient with their time and ours.

    Robert Brill
    Robert BrillCEO, Brill Media