Managing Scope Increase in Agile

As a project Manager what happens when the scope of a project increases by 30% and the deadline cannot be changed?

The role of the project manager is to manage three variables regarding any given project: Time, Money and Scope.

In this example the scope of the project has been changed. In the event of increases in scope it would be possible to either allocate more time to the project in order to be able to produce the new additional work with the same resources according to the original plan, or more resources in order to get the additional work finished on time, or perhaps a combination of both. In this case the deadline cannot be moved so mre resources will be required.


What will happen to time?

In this case the time deadline cannot be moved, so the additional work will need to be completed within the same timeframe according to the original project plan. The project Manager will need to estimate both the skills and time estimates required in order to identify appropriate resources for the completion of the additional work.


What will happen to money?

The project will cost more than originally estimated. The fact that the time deadline cannot be moved could also create higher than normal costs (in addition to the increase in work there may be a scarsity of resources which could increase costs) due to employee overtime, or last minute availability of external resources.


What will happen to resources?

Having to complete more work within the same timeframe according to the initial plan will require more effort and availability from existing staff members and/or (possibily) last minute availability from external resources.


What do you expect to happen?

I would expect the project to proceed successfully. There would need to be a new plan of action, possibly requiring the introduction of new team members and/or rearranging of tasks according to new priorities. I would expect the slightly (or possibly significantly) increase in costs to reflect the urgency created by increasing the workload while maintaining the same time period.


What would you do as a Project Manager?

The first thing I would do is estimate what the actual additional requirements are in terms of competencies and workload and I would evaluate both the need and availability of external resources in the event that our current team is not capable of taking on the extra work. I would arrange a meeting to clarify new budget requirements, and sign off on the new plan.