Scope Creep Avoidance in a Project

20 Aug

Scope Creep Happens When:

  • Project has insufficient definition
  • Project Expansion/Additional features or functionality without looking at the effects on time, costs, resources, or without customer approval
  • Additional stakeholders or customers are included in the middle of the project
  • Wrong people defining the scope

Results of Scope Creep:

  • Adds complexity to the project
  • The project can collapses under its own weight/too much trying to be accomplished in the project
  • Can be a big risk for a project
  • Too much change can push the whole project over budget

Tips to Prevent Scope Creep:

  • Setup a change control process from the start, so if a change request is made later on, there is process to follow.  Remember though, some customer change requests occur during testing or can be totally outside of your control
  • Add a contingency fund and time budget for customer change requests.  Therefore, money will be drawn from the contingency fund, if a change request occurs
  • It’s important to setup limits early, put it in writing, and get sign off
  • Define and prioritize the business requirements as must haves and nice to have
  • Define what can be delivered with the resources that are available
  • Make additional features as part of phase 2 of the project, once the first part is completed, if possible

In the end, scope creep happens as a result of a project change or growth of a project’s scope.  Instead of preventing changes completed, as they will occur, work with your project team to effectively manage each change with the end goal of trying to stay on schedule and on budget as much as possible.

What Scope Creep Challenges Have You Experienced?

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