Help! Eagle Project Requirements Expanding

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Help! Eagle Project Requirements Expanding

Postby fritz1255 » Wed May 14, 2008 7:49 am

One of our prospective Eagle Scouts is nearly done with his project, but the organization that he is doing the project for has asked for some last-minute additions to the project. The boy is three months shy of his 18th BD, so the changes are likely to deny him his Eagle if he is forced to accept them. While I know that the answer will be "they can't do that!", we are due to meet with the organization tomorrow, and I need to be able to cite chapter and verse of what BSA regulation says that an approved project cannot be added to once the plan has been signed off. Thanks in advance.
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Postby DadScout » Wed May 14, 2008 8:06 am

"Scope creep", always a pain in the butt for a project manager. Your boss or customer changes the scope of a project and throws all the timelines and resource allocations off. I won't answer from the official BSA perspective since I'm sure there's others better suited. However, from a project managment perspective it's time for negotiating. If the Eagle candidate is able to influence the organization and others you could negotiate:

-Let the project continue as planned and the Troop will take on the changes as a Troop service project.

-Accept the changes but suggest changes of your own that will put it back on time

If resources are an issue you can usually go outside your comfort zone of your own Troop and friends and hit up neighboring Troops. The service time might be welcome to boys in another Troop. If funding and permits are issues that might be harder to work out.
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Postby Chief J » Wed May 14, 2008 8:07 am

Though I cannot quote verse and chapter, a discussion with the organization and a compromise may be in order.

Something like: "At this point, if X incorporates your request, he will be unable to complete by his 18th birthday. However, we understand and would like to work with you to incorporate these changes into a service project that can be tied to X's Eagle project"

That is, let X complete the project as written, and we as a Troop will embrace the changes as a seperate service project.

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Last edited by Chief J on Wed May 14, 2008 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby fritz1255 » Wed May 14, 2008 9:00 am

We have had this same problem with the same organization on a couple of other Eagle projects, so I am in no mood for negotiation. The project has aleady gone beyond the original approved scope. The District Advancement Chair is aware of the problem, and has said that he will approve the project if the organization refuses to sign off. I would not like things to end this way, but would like to persuade the organization to sign off, hence the request for chapter and verse.
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Postby FrankJ » Wed May 14, 2008 9:21 am

I doubt you will find chapter & verse in the boy scout world for this other than your district committee's statement. I would refer to English common law (which for as I know is not actually written anywhere) & liken the signed project to a contract (which it really is) which cannot be changed without both parties approval.

In the future I would suggest other organizations to work with on eagle projects. Perhaps tactfully point out that this projects outcome will effect this.

Disclaimer: I do not even play a bad lawyer on TV & it been years since I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.
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Postby ASM-142 » Wed May 14, 2008 11:15 am

fritz1255 wrote:We have had this same problem with the same organization on a couple of other Eagle projects, so I am in no mood for negotiation. The project has aleady gone beyond the original approved scope. The District Advancement Chair is aware of the problem, and has said that he will approve the project if the organization refuses to sign off. I would not like things to end this way, but would like to persuade the organization to sign off, hence the request for chapter and verse.


How can the District Advancement Chair sign off on this when the requirement states
Signature of the representative of religious institution, school, or community
If it is not written down then it is not an official rule
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Postby FrankJ » Wed May 14, 2008 12:14 pm

How can the District Advancement Chair sign off on this when the requirement states
....

Since the district would be the first step in the appeals process I think that would give them the right to decide if the institution was reasonable in their demands. I put under use a little reason in interpeting the requirements. :) The EBOR would actually have the final say on if the project was completed satisfactorily.
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Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 14, 2008 12:30 pm

What is the project?
Define "nearly done".
What changes in project scope will take 3 months to do? I've never seen a project that took more than 4 weeks of execution time and I've reviewed at least 50.
What is the basis for your appeal? My project not completed because sponsor wouldn't sign off on it so I'm done with it?
You did what to mitigate this?
You are requesting additional time to complete what they want? How long?

Maybe water under the bridge but obviously if you've had this come up on other Eagle projects before, why didn't you drop these guys as a sponsoring organization?

You are correct in that the EBOR has the final approval of the project.
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Postby milominderbinder2 » Wed May 14, 2008 1:14 pm

SM168 is asking the right questions...

You have every right to still go to an Eagle Board without all of the signatures on the project workbook or even the Eagle Application for that matter. The BoR needs to understand the factors and make their judgment accordingly. Please see 33088 © 2007 pp.27-33 for details on Eagle Projects, Eagle Boards, and appeal process.

The advice to talk with your District Advancement chair is good.

The wise philosopher Henley once said:

"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key."

For $3.99 you can buy the key.

- Craig
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Postby fritz1255 » Wed May 14, 2008 1:42 pm

Without going into detail, my understanding is that he is done or nealy so with the scope of the project as originally written and approved, but now the organization wants some (costly) upgrades. The main issue is cost - the organization is providing no funds or help whatsoever, but expects the Scout to solicit the materials for the upgrades. Our feeling is that the Scout will not be able to finish the project with the requested upgrades, and they may well request other changes before he is done.

As to why we are still working with these people, this project was originally approved in 2006, and has been dragging on for a couple of years. To give you a perspective, over 500 hours have already been spent on this one project, and $3000+ donated. And yes, no Scouts will be agreeing to any other Eagle projects of anywhere near this scope, at least not as long as I am Comitteee Chair, but we are where we are on this one.
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Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 14, 2008 2:11 pm

2006!!! That means the scout started this at 15. If I was a sponsoring organization and approved a project in 2006, I wouldn't be happy it is taking so long to complete either. Is he dragging his feet and has he changed his gameplan? I'd like to see the details. Is he building a Chapel? What kind of costly upgrades? The sponsor of an Eagle project is under no obligation to fund a nickel of the project and this should be part of his financial plan as contained in his "written and approved" plan.

I started on the scout's side but I'm waivering to the other given what details you've shared.
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Postby evmori » Wed May 14, 2008 2:54 pm

This could be the longest - in terms of time - Eagle project ever! 2 years since the project was approved & it still isn't complete! What's he doing? Building a hi-riser for senior citizens?

There is no reason an Eagle project should last this long! Most construction projects don't last this long!
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Postby fritz1255 » Wed May 14, 2008 3:25 pm

Thanks, Milo. I will see if our Advancement Chair has the booklet that you cited.

As for the questions from smtroop, the Scout has indeed been dragging his feet, and there has been a recent flurry of activity to finish as his 18th BD approaches. I can see how the organization would be annoyed with him, but this is not the issue - no time limit was specified in the project scope. I am a project manager for a large corporation, and I can tell you that even adults who are being highly paid to work on projects often do not complete assignments on time, and projects can drag on longer than they should because of this. While the organization is not obligated to provide funding, asking for costly changes without offering to pay for them is unreasonable and irresponsible. I have to think that this might never have come up if the Scout had finished within a few months, but that's water under the bridge.

All I'm going to say on the subject. If anybody else can help me with specific rules related to Eagle project scopes, please jump in.
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Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 14, 2008 3:59 pm

Okay...here's what I know. Not BSA policy but local council. Again, National doesn't get involved in Eagle Project Management. If a scout's project scope changes significantly, then he should go back to the 4 people who approved the original plan (SM,Committee, sponsor, District) and ask for a re-review to determine if the scope change no longer makes it an Eagle Project but turns it into a service project. This usually occurs when the project is descoped not upscoped (not sure that's a word).

As far as no time limit, the projects I review always have a timeline in them and based on the scope I can usually tell how long it's going to take from the start. I'm trying to understand how this is just popping up now as he should have been in regular contact with the sponsor giving them status reports

I don't understand why you won't tell us what the project is to give us a baseline and so we can better understand what the scope creep is. It's hard to judge sponsor unreasonableness given what you've told us.
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Postby evmori » Thu May 15, 2008 7:40 am

The more I read the more I seem to not want to side with the Scout. Two years working (or not) on an Eagle project & you are surprised the organization who the project is for is asking for changes? I surprised they just didn't say "Never mind! This is taking way too long."

If the Scout has been dragging his feet, the onus falls on him to get 'er done!
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Postby FrankJ » Thu May 15, 2008 9:44 am

This is precisely why you shouldn't make blanket judgments over the Internet. You just do not get all the facts. Being there, you can ask the right questions & talk to both sides.

As for the project. This is not a commercial project that the benefiting institution is paying for and can expect to be totally in control of. Its real purpose is a learning experience for the scout, of involved should understand that. In judging the project you should ask did the scout show leadership? If he learned leadership skills along the way, so much the better. I think more of a project that has taken some time than one where the real work is done on a Saturday with mom, dad or SM guiding the scout every step of the way. (not that is ever done)
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Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 15, 2008 10:29 am

I have seen a lot of issues on the forum where we don't get the Paul Harvey "rest of the story" so even though we want and will go to the mat for scouts like aflmom's son, we don't have both sides (e.g. the sponsor's side in this case). There are a number of those who volunteered to go to Florida to help aflmom so don't think we wouldn't be willing to jump in as much as we can.

I agree that the project evaluates leadership of the scout. Leadership also involves seeing a task to completion. In my Navy career, leadership also meant keeping the chain of command informed of project status. Taking 2 years in executing his project is way too long and I would be asking what leadership has the scout been showing along the way as I mentioned such as status reports.

But since fritz1255 won't give us any more info, we are left guessing.

fritz1255...is this your son?
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Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 15, 2008 1:50 pm

Fritz1255....I know it sounds like I'm beating you up for more details but having the info allows each of our forum members to take the scenario to our local council advancement committees as an example of how projects can get gummed up and maybe allow them to put out some local policy to help future scouts who may find themselves in the same position.

As I mentioned, I've done over 50 project reviews (2 more this afternoon)and never had an increase in scope as you describe so I'd like to get the best info I can.
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Postby aflmom » Thu May 15, 2008 2:56 pm

smtroop168 wrote:I have seen a lot of issues on the forum where we don't get the Paul Harvey "rest of the story" so even though we want and will go to the mat for scouts like aflmom's son, we don't have both sides (e.g. the sponsor's side in this case). There are a number of those who volunteered to go to Florida to help aflmom so don't think we wouldn't be willing to jump in as much as we can.


I'm still in awe with people volunteering although it's not something I could take advantage of. When our son had his SM conference, he was asked if he enjoyed scouting. He truthfully answered no, but replied that he has learned a lot from the experience. He was also frank with his SM and told him that when he has his EBOR (next week), he's not going to give the cookie-cutter answers or tell them what they want to hear. However, he will be respectful.

If the opportunity comes up, one thing he wants to mention is the courtesy of asking a scout if a date works for his BOR vs. stating it will be held this day, period, the end. They rescheduled his EBOR for Wed, on a night when he has youth group. It's extremely important to him to be there plus he's on the ministry and worship team. On top of that, they have a new youth pastor and it will only be his 2nd week. He wasn't too happy and seriously considered canceling (the EBOR). I'm glad he thought about it and didn't!
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Postby wagionvigil » Thu May 15, 2008 3:17 pm

Questions!!!!!
Why has it taken the boy two years to do this project?

Is it the boys fault it took so long ? If so Too Bad!
Is it the Organizations Fault? Then that is different and canbe addrssed.

I am waiting for the answer! :roll:
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