Scope – “Now” or “Later”

Whenever I hear discussions about scope, I hear that an item of functionality is “in” or “out” of scope.

This is the wrong way to think about scope. When we say that something is “out of scope”, the person requesting that item will fight to keep it in scope.

Instead, consider things that will be built “now” or “later”.

“Now” means we could start work on it before the next time the business investors meet.

“Later” means we will not start developing it between now and the next time the business investors meet to discuss scope. If the business investors meet on a weekly basis, it means that we will not start working on it this week.

If the business investors only meet once a quarter you will face a lot more pressure to start on an item now than if they meet once a week. As a result there is the danger that you will start work on things because you might need them and as a result build the wrong thing.

If your business investors meet once a quarter, the investment decision process will take a long time. Although the investors might agree on the first, second and third priorities, they will spend a long time discussing the relative priority of items four to twenty.

If your business investors meet once a week, they only need to agree on the first or second priorities at most. This will normally be a quick process.

Also, as the business investors meet more regularly to prioritise investments, they will become more effective at the process. If you do something once a week, you will be better at it than if you do it once a month and much better than if you do it once a quarter.

About theitriskmanager

Currently an “engineering performance coach” because “transformation” and “Agile” are now toxic. In the past, “Transformation lead”, “Agile Coach”, “Programme Manager”, “Project Manager”, “Business Analyst”, and “Developer”. Did some stuff with the Agile Community. Put the “Given” into “Given-When-Then”. Discovered “Real Options” View all posts by theitriskmanager

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: