Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video What is scope creep?, part of Preventing Scope Creep.
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Have you ever been on a project where the client was eager to add more and more features, or more functionality. But not so eager to add budget and schedule? During consulting and training engagements, it's amazing how often I've seen this happen. The challenge of every project is to make it work and be successful within the project boundaries. The classic boundaries monitored, are the scope, cost and schedule. These three elements of a project are known to work in tandem with one another.
When one of these elements is restricted or extended, the other two elements will then also need to be either increased or reduced in some way. There is a balancing of the three elements that only when fully understood by the stakeholders and the project managers allows for the successful planning, resourcing and execution of a project. So let's say that you're in the lunchroom at work one day and your colleague approaches you to see if you can squeeze in another feature on his project. When the request is informal like this and the expectation is you'll just slip that request in without adjusting the schedule or asking for more funding.
We call that scope creep. There's often more than one such request on the project, and when allowed, all these little requests add up to higher than expected costs and missed deadlines. On the flip side, we use the term gold plating when a team member decides to add in a feature or some functionality that the client did not request, but the team member thinks would be awesome. When the addition has not been fully analyzed and included in documented scope. Slippages in the timeline and the cost can escalate without the project managers knowledge until after the work has been done, the time spend and cost incurred.
At the end of the day, avoiding scope creep and gold plating are key. And will determine whether or not you have a successful project. So now that we've learned what scope creep is let's look at some of the reasons that scope changes on a project.
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- What is scope creep?
- Why does scope change?
- Factoring in organizational maturity
- Setting scope and requirements
- Building a budget
- Resetting unrealistic expectations
- Resolving communication issues with stakeholders<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.