Project managers can usually spot scope creep once it appears, but by that point the damage has already begun and it’s a challenge to get things back in line. Sometimes the hardest part of fixing a problem is knowing why it happened in the first place. That’s the case with teams that find themselves hindered by a scope that has grown out of control.
Project Scope Creep
Scope creep is a problem that plagues projects across the spectrum. Small or large, simple or complex, a project’s success can be threatened by stakeholders eager to add just one more activity to the list. If the team doesn’t know how to keep those parameters in check—or if they don’t have the tools to know when the approved scope is in jeopardy—they’ll have difficulty resisting requests to take on more than the project’s budget and target timeline can support. Failure often follows, as the Project Team’s resources are expended early and the schedule falls apart.
Fortunately, there are some strategies organizations can implement to help maintain order and eliminate ballooning project boundaries. These approaches will also aid in avoiding the related schedule delays and cost overruns, not to mention the strain on team members’ workloads.
Scope creep—that phenomenon where a project’s achievable’s grow beyond what was agreed upon at the outset—is often seen as the scourge of project management professionals. Project Teams put significant energy into avoiding scope creep, but they should also look at the other side of the equation if they really want to conquer uncontrolled scope growth….