When you start a project, the chances are that you have it all planned out from the first steps to the budget along with the time-span. Even the most minor of changes can seem like no big deal to execute and still keep up with the original plan and outcome of the project. However, it is common for one minor change to become multiple and cause various issues. This can result in scope creep and can even lead to a project that fails in the end. Below are some of the leading causes of scope creep and how you can prevent it from happening to you. First, let’s get started with what scope creep is.
What is Scope Creep?
Scope creep is a project that has had its goals changed and/or expanded before the completion. The process is initially defined and planned out – this is the scope of the project. The creep aspect comes later on as little by little, the changes start piling on, and you end up with a goal or vision that is entirely different from the original. This can cause the project to be delayed and even fail.
When it comes to scope creep, some causes may be out of your control. You may not always be able to predict how specific changes can affect your project. However, some of the leading causes include:
A poorly or undefined project scope
A scope that is not thoroughly defined can lead to more problems than you think. You may assume that a client request will have to result in a change when, in reality, it was apart of the original project scope. A poorly defined project scope often occurs when you don’t have the information that you need. You may prematurely develop a plan which can be missing essential components. This will usually result in changes.[adsense]
There is no basis for collecting the requirements
To create a project plan that is solid, you need to have all of the information that is necessary to prevent scope creep. If you are working with more than one client on a project, you must understand their needs and requirements thoroughly. This can help you ensure that the vision they have is just like the one you will deliver.
Some projects may take longer than others. However, if you give yourself too much time to complete it, it can result in scope creep. The extra time allows for changes, tweaks, and new ideas to develop.
Preventing Scope Creep
Start by gathering all of the information that you need in order first to develop the scope of your project. This will set the tone for everything. Make sure to include all parties involved in the planning process and ensure that everyone agrees before finalizing the scope. While the project is in operation, take every potential change seriously no matter how big or small. Make sure it is evaluated thoroughly before going through with it.
Scope creep something that often occurs in project management, and it can often cause failure in regards to your project. Following these tips and knowing the causes can help you avoid scope creep.