“Just say no list” prevents project scope creep

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How about this: write a list of “what we will NOT do on this project” to prevent scope creep?

(A project’s “scope” is the understanding of what is being addressed. “Scope creep” is when the project gets larger than expected, and stretches to cover more work than was originally anticipated. For example, suppose a project included a requirement to replace an old pump, but people discover that the pipe lines are rusted and undersized, and the project grows to also involve redoing the piping. If the project manhours and pay are not updated, the project could easily go over-time and over-budget.)

Don't get buried by endless changes (Photo by nertzy)

I saw an interesting article in Chemical Processing Magazine: Properly Estimate Engineering Hours. The article was an editorial about how to avoid making a bad estimate of the hours required for a project. And in that article the Dirk Willard mentioned a second article which included a “Just say no list.”

Now it’s not totally clear what this list was, but it seems to me that everyone involved on the project made a list of things that would derail the project. Things that they knew people would want to add in later but that there wasn’t enough time to do. "If you keep adding things in the project balloons and goes on forever."

They put these things onto a list, and whenever someone proposed something on the list, they could just pull that list out. Now if people insisted, they also had a method to evaluate that, and where justified by a business case, formally increase the scope of the project.

Sounded like an idea worth highlighting.

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