And while we’re at it… – real world requirement management
Any good project starts out with a nicely shaped idea. Then they are transformed into single steps as user stories or tickets or whatever and then implementation follows.
Each of these steps are prone to wild growth. The while-we’re-at-it syndrome.
In any web development project you are likely to touch some templates and along comes someone who will propose that while you’re at it wouldn’t it be the right moment to fit in some SEO changes?
This is not the only example. As soon as some development resources are allocated for a project everybody even loosely connected will try to throw some extra task into it while you’re at it.
It’s not even deliberately. The thinking is when you’re going to turn stones anyway why not do all the work that has to be done there anyway while you’re at it.
And many a times it’s hard to argue against this. It really does make sense. But it will let you’re estimates go titsup as well.
As a project manager you have to ensure that you’re project doesn’t grow out of proportion. So what to do?
In my experience you need to have a story for the project at hand really early on. A story that tell you exactly what this project big or small is all about. Having such a story will be your yardstick to judge whether a proposed change is sensible or not.
Does it fit to your story? Does it add to it without diluting it. If it is not then it does not belong to your project and should be done later or within some other project and not while you’re at it.