Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Scope Bank is Open for Business

Author: Neil A. Alan

You correctly defined and introduced the Scope Bank to your client, who initially agreed to use it. However, the client seems to have forgotten their agreement. The Scope Bank needs a deposit in order to process a new change request, and the client insists on integrating the most recent change request without removing any functions or features not yet integrated into the solution. You are at an impasse. How will you resolve the stalemate?

The concept of a Scope Bank is almost certainly new to most customers and it will take a 
diligent project manager to integrate the Scope Bank concept to any of your customers. In 
the case of this customer, it seems that they don’t understand the concept. Helping them 
understand without the customer feeling victimized is the real challenge. This essay will 
discuss how a project manager can effectively integrate the Scope Bank concept with their 
customers.

Making a Scope Bank Work

Project Managers like the concept of the Scope Bank and customers may feel like they 
understand the concept during the project kick off meeting, but do customers really 
understand the bank to the same extent as the project manager? Unlikely. Imagine for a 
moment that you are new to the concept of financial banking. Remember back to your first 
checking account and savings account. Now imagine how you would have been able to 
manage such accounts if the bank didn't communicate with you on a regular basis. What if 
the bank didn’t send you a monthly statement or they didn’t tell you when you were 
overdrawn? What if they didn’t give you deposit slips and withdrawal slips indicating your 
current balance. You would seem like a complete idiot in the bank’s eyes.

You are doing the exact same thing to your customer as the bank who doesn’t send out 
statements or overdraft notices. Now how would you feel if that same bank came to you 
and said “We are at a stalemate over your current banking abuse”? You might feel hurt or 
ashamed or even angry that the bank didn’t help you with your learning curve experience. 
Don’t make your customer feel any of these feelings when it comes to Scope Bank.
The Scope Bank needs to be managed by the project manager the same way your bank 
manager manages your financial banking needs. The project manager should send a 
withdrawal notice to the customer when time is removed from the Scope Bank. In the 
same way, any deposits into the Scope Bank should have deposit notices sent to the 
customer. The withdrawal and deposit slips should indicate the current balance in the 
Scope Bank. A regular statement should be sent to the customer indicating any activity 
since the last statement. The statement should show all deposits and withdrawals as well 
as the beginning and ending balance. If the Scope Bank has a zero or negative balance, 
the customer should be notified in the form of a overdraw notice.

These are all concepts that your customer will implicitly understand. These are the Human 
Factors of the banking process. In this way your customer will have the appropriate 
mental scaffolding to understand how a Scope Bank works and when the Scope Bank is in 
trouble. Transparent use of the Scope Bank and over-communicating with your customer 
will solve the problems before they happen. Your customer is your partner in making the 
project work. Try treating them that way. 


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