Lean Scope Project Management: Project Management for Highly-Innovative Projects

I will present my Lean Scope Project Management methodology on Wednesday to the Project Management Institute’s Government Community of Practice. On Thursday, I will release a YouTube video explaining Lean Scope Project Management. I look forward to the comments of project management practitioners and human-centered design practitioners.

The origin story of Lean Scope Project Management (LSPM) came about when I took a two-day course in human-centered design (HCD). I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of design as it did not seem to have the detailed methodology that project management or business analysis has through their respective published bodies of knowledge. Thanks to the class by trainers from the LUMA Institute, I learned that there is a method to design that is just as methodical as project management. In fact, it seemed that HCD could complement project management in two vital areas.

The first area is creating a project scope. Bigelow (2012) calls scope the “fuzzy constraint” of the triple constraint. He argues that defining scope has always been problematic for project managers because of the multiple dimensions of scope (both product and project). Burek (2006) advocates using “joint application development” (JAD) to create a complete scope statement that relies on extensive stakeholder engagement. I agree with Burek but believe that HCD is a better method than JAD for dealing with the fuzzy constraint.

Stakeholder engagement is the second area in which HCD excels. There are several methods to discover stakeholders and to engage them in the design process. That is why LSPM uses HCD in the Design Sprint and Prototype Sprints phases. The design methods help to identify stakeholders, involve them in the project scope planning process, and encourages buy-in for the project outcome. HCD is especially helpful in highly-innovative projects where the solution may be clearly-known,but the methods for creating the solution are not.

In my next posting, I will have a link to the YouTube briefing on LSPM. I hope you view the briefing, and I look forward to your comments.

Leave a Comment

One Comment

Leave a Reply