Think about your last project, did it come in on time and on budget? Its a hard job either way. The title 'project manager' often belies the task in hand.
Project managers are also known for managing without authority. That is; people report to you for the duration of a project within the scope of project work, but you are still spending most of your time reporting back to a line manager who can prioritise the project team member’s time contrary to your best laid plans. In that context project managers have to lead with other skills, such as negotiation, charisma, leadership and so on.
This myriad of skills is especially important at the scoping stage. The difficult question of how to get this right is addressed in Meridian West's article 'Getting the scope right'. This extract shows just how big this problem can be.
Whichever industry you are in, planning and scoping are hard to get right, as they are often subject to changing dynamics that are difficult to predict. The professions are no exception, but generally don’t have a reputation for spending sufficient time at the scoping stage. The bigger the project, the harder the fall. The McKinsey/Oxford study shows some startling statistics: half of IT projects with budgets of over $15million run 45% over budget, are 7% behind schedule and deliver 56% less functionality than predicted. What can advisers do to avoid pitfalls and keep on top in the scoping process?