Project Management

Stop the Infection of Scope Creep

Scope creep can infect any project at any time. The slow buildup of tweaks and adjustments to the plan can wind up costing an arm and a leg in the long run. While reasonable requests for change should be acknowledged and completed, scope creep is what happens there is not a clear-enough vision in place. In an article for InformationWeek, Shafat Qazi explains how to avoid scope creep from affecting your project:

  • Define the project start and end dates.
  • Utilize structure for change requests.
  • Manage the time budget.
  • Leverage transparent communication.

 No More Creeping About

The first step to keeping scope creep from affecting your project is to define the start and end dates of the project. This allows you and your client to establish which crucial parts need to be done at the right times in order to complete the project within the window you’ve established. Change orders will naturally affect these deadlines, but it will allow the introduction of changes to be integrated into the project more naturally.

Since changes are inevitable, there needs to be an agreed-upon structure for change requests. This makes each change request a formal process that requires the client to clearly articulate needs and accompanying context, in order to determine feasibility and maintain alignment. IT can respond to these requests more effectively.

Qazi also stresses how valuable proper time budget management can help gauge how much work is devoted to each task. It shows the correlation between the amount of time worked on a project and the measurable tasks completed. He then says that analytics can be developed to keep the time budget in check:

As IT workers adhere to this task-based approach, they can develop analytics about completed project performance and use predictive analytics to show likely future results. This provides managers with valuable context. They can judge whether a certain change will result in a positive outcome or a negative one in terms of time spent and the client’s ultimate satisfaction with the result. The managers can not only optimize their team’s work, but also know in advance if additional costs should be added to the project

The final way to avoid scope creep is to maintain open and transparent lines of communication. Establishing a working relationship with the client through regular communication is beneficial to both parties: It gives the client as much information as they need and keeps them from randomly dumping more work onto your lap. Emphasizing communication can stop scope creep dead in its tracks and can only help the project.

You can view the original article here:

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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