When fine-tuning your automation project and any automated scheduling software, you’re bound to encounter some scope creep along the way. Scope creep highlights the uncontrolled changes that occur within a lab automation project’s scope, swelling the amount of work associated with a project, adding time and costs to the project. Especially if you’re a smaller lab with an airtight budget, scope creep can put you in a very compromising position.
How does scope creep occur, and how can you avoid it as you try to improve project efficiency as much as possible? Using automation scheduling software may help
Scope creep occurs when you don’t collaborate well with your customers at the start of your project. Objectives were not properly defined, and its scope lacked clarity, causing a disconnect that led to the project lasting longer and costing more than initially estimated.
It’s crucial to press customers consistently yet diplomatically to clearly define what they want for a project and establish formidable solutions. Customers often struggle with clear ideas about what they want or the standards they’re seeking for projects. Customers may change their minds about the project requirements and widen the project scope or expect services that the lab did not initially agree to. Considering the level of work involved in lab automation projects, project participants must communicate initiatives before commencing the work.
Automation scheduling software and robotic process automation software, can help lab managers avoid scope creep through analysis of optimized process schedules, communicating project initiatives better, and providing clear options for the lab and customer to choose to define project expectations.
It’s vital to have a clear definition of the lab automation project through project definitions and having documents outlining those definitions readily available. Having a contract clearly defining the project scope makes a profound difference, making it clear what you will do for the customer in question, what the customer must do regarding providing information and samples, and how much additional work outside of the project scope will cost. Any options to extend the project scope for the lab automation initiative must be provided from the beginning of the project, specifying any price changes and definitive deadlines.
Do your best to establish a clear communication pathway with customers and have strong conflict resolution strategies in place if you and the customer disagree over lab automation project terms. Try to understand the customer’s viewpoint as much as possible before proceeding with a potential solution.
Automation scheduling software can help identify process schedules and any process gridlock early in the project. This information can aid in identifying proper scope, and help to make lab automation projects more efficient and timely. Learn more about how quality scheduling software works with Retisoft.