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This chapter is from the book


The main points of this chapter can be summarized as follows:

  • "Scope creep" doesn't exist in agile projects, because scope is expected to change.
  • Scope management in agile is primarily a function of "rolling wave" planning and the management of the product backlog.
  • Scope is defined and redefined using five different levels of planning that take the team from the broad vision down to what team members plan to complete today.
  • WBSs are not created per se; instead, release/quarterly plans and iteration plans serve to break down the work into smaller work packages, referred to as "features and tasks."
  • Scope is verified by the customer, who is responsible for accepting or rejecting the features completed each iteration.
  • Scope is controlled through the use of the backlog, rolling wave planning, and the protection of the iteration.

Table 5-6 presents the differences in project management behavior regarding scope management in traditional and agile projects.

Table 5-6. Agile Project Manager's Change List for Scope Management

I used to do this:

Now I do this:

Prepare a formal Project Scope Management plan.

Make sure the team understands the framework and process structure of the chosen agile approach.

Prepare a formal Project Scope Statement document.

Facilitate planning meetings—vision, release, iteration, daily stand-up—and arrange for the informally documented plans to be highly visible to all stakeholders.

Create the WBS.

Facilitate the release planning meeting so that the team can create the plan showing the breakdown of work across several iterations.

Manage the change control system and try to prevent scope creep.

Step away from the backlog; it is owned by the customer. If needed, remind the customer that during the iteration, the team is protected from scope changes.

Manage the delivery of tasks to prevent or correct scope creep at the task level.

Allow team members to manage their daily tasks and facilitate conversations with the customer to avoid unnecessary work or "gold plating."

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