What is the scope creep?
First of all, let’s understand what is scope?
In the project we want to do things which are relevant and agreed with the stakeholders we don’t want to have a situation where we end up into something which is not a part of our agreement or understanding so this organized changes in project, we called it as controlling scope or a project scope. It basically defines the boundaries or desire of the project. It also defines what things are included and what are excluded in the project.
Now talking about what is meant by scope creep- When the project begins, especially in agile methodology there takes place a lot of stakeholders interaction such as entering of new ideas, new features, new creativity which expanded the things uncontrollably and that is something which later on stakeholder may also does not like it and also company might suffer expenses caused due to those changes. So, this what scope creep means to bring changes in the features or functionality which was not decided earlier or before the start of the project. It is caused by stakeholders.
Hence, scope creep is the situation which is good when it is in controllable in nature but make a haphazard chaos when it expanded its form in an uncontrollable manner and it becomes more vulnerable when the product is close to its completion phase.
Let’s understand this by an example:
Before the start of the project, the initial agreement was all set, after the beginning of the project with Agile methodology, suppose one of the stakeholder come up with new idea or new features, let’s suppose at the initial stage there were 3 features and 1 deliverables in the product after the beginning of the project the stakeholders asked to add 2 more features and 2 more deliverables to the product and this lead to change in project which is termed as scope creep. At an initial stage adding changes to the product is easy but as the product crosses every stages and come closer to the completion phase, there adding features or adding changes become difficult to handle and this way it also increases the cost of implementation. So, scope creep is not favorable every time. It’s usually present in project and should be taken care by a project manager.
How to deal with the scope creep?
- Properly document project requirements.
- Communicate project requirements with all stakeholders.
- Incorporate feedback of stakeholders.
- Discuss with the technical team.
- Analyze the risk and impact of the change in the project.
- Get signed/signature project scope from the key stakeholders.
How to avoid scope creep?
When scope creep happens over and over again this, means that either product backlog or sprint backlog is not healthy. Analyze the reason, why it is happening, once you realize the reason you work with your product owner and you discuss.
So, here are following tips to avoid scope creep:
- Define project scope upfront
- Set priorities
- Request additional funding and resources
- Re-baseline your project schedule or project plan