Scope Creep and Exercising Control
Since a creeping scope was clearly evident during
this project's implementation, one must conclude that Imhotep was well acquainted
with the principles of scope change management. On the other hand, it is doubtful
if Imhotep was plagued with the current-day problems of "gaining and retaining
team commitment", for he had available to him a powerful enticement. Those
who failed to perform could be summarily executed.
Today, this form of incentive has been mostly discredited, though
not entirely. Its modem-day equivalent, summary dismissal [now euphemistically
known as "outsourcing"], is to be found in the corporate
world, but has the attendant difficulties of endless litigation
if not conducted in a very careful manner.
Over the centuries, the classic master-servant relationship
continued to serve projects well, for major works continued to be built, including
the seven wonders of the world. It was not until the early twentieth century,
however, that serious attention was given to the idea of "management",
and then only in the context of maintaining efficiency and continuity of an on-going
operation, rather than for the development of a "project. Many and varied
have been the techniques promoted from time to time, some with catchy buzz names.
While some have stood the test of time, others have passed by only as temporary
One suspects that many were created simply to catch
the imagination for purposes of selling consulting services to senior management
a sort of elixir of (management) life! Nevertheless, project oriented techniques
began to emerge such as work study, graphical portrayal of activities (Gantt
charts), management-by-objectives, and more recently, total quality management.