PMP Exam Prep #Q5 – Control Scope in Agile
Q5. In your project, the requirements are emerging incrementally, so you decided to use an agile approach where you don’t have the baseline scope; Which of the following helps you control scope creep and gold plating? (Select Two)
A. Definition of Ready (DoR)
B. Definition of Done (DoD)
C. Daily Stand-up Meeting
D. Continuous Stakeholder Engagement
This question addresses the challenge of preventing scope creep and gold plating in Agile, where requirements evolve incrementally.
Let’s look at what is Scope Creep and Gold Plating –
Scope Creep is when a client keeps adding requests for new features or functions. If the team incorporates these requests without appropriate adjustments to project time, cost, or resources, this leads to scope creep.
Gold Plating is when the team voluntarily adds extra features or functions beyond the agreed scope, often as a goodwill gesture to please the client, without being asked. Usually as “freebies” for the client.
Agile approaches evolve requirements incrementally and avoid formal scope baselining, which inherently carries the risk of both scope creep and gold plating. The key question is how Agile approaches effectively control project scope while navigating these risks.
Controlling Scope includes:
- Adhering to the agreed-upon features and priorities.
- Following the established processes or structure in which you have agreed to explore the Scope. You are not bypassing the backlog refinement and the Definition of Done.
Now, let’s look at each of the options –
Option A – “Definition of Ready (DoR):”- it helps identify how much product backlog item should be ready before you take it into the iteration. It is not specific to the scope. It is more about facilitating good iteration planning. So, it is not the correct option.
Option B – “Definition of Done (DoD)” – It helps the team with a shared understanding of product backlog item completion. Each product backlog item must comply with a checklist of items (DoD) before it is considered complete. It gives a clear idea of the number of things you should work on for a particular product backlog item. Hence, DoD addresses the gold plating because it helps in knowing items you should do to make the client happy. Understanding client happiness is not based on team judgment. This is one of the right options out of the 2.
Option C – “ Daily Stand-up Meeting” – It helps the team understand what work has been done and what work remains. During daily stand-up, the team discusses if anything impedes work and re-plans the work to achieve the iteration Goal. In this way, this meeting helps in collaboration and brings transparency. During this meeting, you may discuss scope-related items, but they do not directly contribute to control scope or gold plating. So, this is not the correct option.
Option D – “Continuous stakeholder engagement”- In agile, you encourage the team to continuously interact with the stakeholders as it regularly helps with the Inspect/Adapt. You are unlikely to start work, and after a long time, you return to show the completed work. Instead, you do the iteration review as the iteration goes on. In other words, you present your work to stakeholders frequently. Also, It is not unusual to see a stakeholder sitting with a team member discussing the current work and determining if it needs to be modified and how. This continuous engagement helps control scope (scope creep and gold plating) as it ensures work progress as per the agreement and priority.
In summary, continuous stakeholder engagement and agreement on the Definition of Done help the control scope. So, options B and D are the correct options.
Related Resources to Enhance Your Understanding:
- Stakeholder Engagement and Management: Explore the strategies for effective stakeholder engagement in project management Stakeholder Management in Project Management. Discover how to identify, understand, and influence stakeholders to ensure project success.
- Addressing Sprint Planning Challenges: Learn how to handle situations when a team member isn’t participating in sprint planning meetings. Read insights in What to Do if a Member Does Not Participate in Sprint Planning Meeting? Get practical tips on fostering collaboration and maintaining productivity in your Agile team.
- Understanding Scope Creep: Present the complexities of scope creep within different project management life cycles. Our blog: Scope Creep in Project Management: Understanding Predictive and Adaptive Life Cycles offers a deep dive into managing and mitigating scope changes to keep your project on track.
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