Last week’s EvalTuesdayTip discussed the project – or evaluation – management triangle, in which the three points of the triangle represent trade-offs between three different project constraints: time, cost, and quality.
The center of our evaluation management triangle represents the client’s expectations, which an evaluator must manage for the evaluation to be a success.
But there are two more important points missing from the triangle: Scope and Expectations. Even the best projects and evaluations will fail without a clearly communicated, carefully managed scope. Lack of clarity and agreement on scope leads to the outcome that every project manager and evaluator dreads: scope creep.
Scope creep – when a project begins to expand outside of its initial, agreed-upon parameters – can happen at any point in a project’s life span and can be hard to avoid even for the most seasoned evaluators. The best way to avoid scope creep is to be aware of, and communicate about, scope throughout the evaluation, along with the other three points in the triangle.
Hence, we propose the evaluation management triangle should actually be a diamond, with time, cost, quality, and scope as its four points, and expectations at the center.
In the next few #EvalTuesdayTips, we’ll take a closer look at scope creep in evaluations and some of the best ways to manage it using the evaluation management diamond.