Mainframe Modernization Scope Creep: Tips for Avoiding A Silent Killer

Who hasn’t seen or heard of a project being eaten up by scope creep? The expansion of a project outside of the planned objectives is an inherent part of most IT projects- and mainframe modernization is no different. Scope creep is a leading cause of project failure when handled poorly. Pratik Dalal, one of our most experienced project managers, stopped by to give us some tips on how you can avoid deadline delay and budget shortage associated with scope creep.

“A mainframe modernization project is a strong collaboration between Modern Systems and the customer. To ensure a successful migration, all stakeholders need to be constantly communicating and involved”, says Dalal. He sticks to 4 reliable rules when working with customers on modernization projects.

Plan your mainframe modernization strategy

“Plan scope and migration activities up front, so they can be well understood by stakeholders and managed. Be sure critical business logic and rules are accounted for. Validate the target system architecture and performance levels. Define and document approval and escalation chains. Make sure your deliverables are necessary and have them approved by the project stakeholders. If the stakeholders understand what goes into a deliverable, their expectations will be set appropriately and they’ll understand the amount of effort behind it”, says Dalal. “They’ll also be forced to recognize whether they need them or not.”

Build flexibility into your plan

“Your critical path will change over the course of your project, so it’s important to evaluate it before work begins.” says Dalal. “Break the project down into major and minor milestones and complete a generous project schedule to be approved by the project drivers. Always leave room for error. I generally schedule for 120 percent of the expected duration. Coming in under budget and ahead of schedule leaves room for additional enhancements.”

Manage scope change effectively

“There is always going to be some degree of scope change in any project,” says Dalal. “It is very important to establish a process to manage these changes. Establish a simple process to document scope change, impact, and approval by project stakeholders.”

If you can perform all of these steps immediately, great. However, even if you start with just one, it will bring you that much closer to avoiding and controlling scope creep. You always want to be in a position to control your project rather than having your mainframe modernization project control you.

Read more about how to avoid scope creep by harnessing the power of our solutions:

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