3 Steps to Prevent Scope Creep

May 31, 2016

3 Steps to prevent Scope Creep. The project continuously starts requiring additional time and work, and before you know it the entire team is entangled in a quagmire of development quite far away from the original goals and objectives. This is more likely to happen when the project objectives are not clearly defined or documented and/or there is a lack of communication between the parties. So what can be done from preventing “scope creep” to engulf the project?

 

3 Steps to Preventing Scope Creep

 

 

 

 

 

What is “scope creep”?

 

This is when, the project requirements – could be added features, functionalities or operational tasks that start getting added to the wish list and the project team tries to accommodate it.  The project continuously starts requiring additional time and work, and before you know it the entire team is entangled in a quagmire of development quite far away from the original goals and objectives.

 

This is more likely to happen when the project objectives are not clearly defined or documented and/or there is a lack of communication between the parties. So what can be done from preventing “scope creep” to engulf the project?

 

1.   Having clear project objectives -

It is important to have very clear objectives at the beginning of the project. It is also important to educate all the stakeholders on exactly what is required to accomplish the goals. This way they understand the time, money, effort and possible risks and issues down the road.

 

2.  Defining the scope of the project -

The scope statement should clearly specify what the project will deliver and what it will not. This will serve as the foundation of the project and will ensure that the expectations are set correctly with the stakeholders. Also a method or procedure to handle any new request that is out of scope, that is a change request and stating that any change will have an impact on the timelines, budgets etc. as well as getting that common understanding is very key.

 

3. Documentation -

After the collaboration within the entire team and stakeholders,  establishing a clear plan of action, it is time to make sure that the scope is documented. Too many projects are undermined by good meaning individuals who thought that certain aspects of a project were implied instead of specified in the project plan. The cost and payment schedule should be clearly defined in writing.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, taking these steps can help you avoid the monster that is “scope creep”. In addition, an active project manager must monitor the project on a continuous basis and address any issues right away. A clear understanding and documented outline of the project scope can help a project manager foresee possible issues and address them before they arise. 

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