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What Is Scope Creep and How Can I Avoid It?

Stephanie Ray
Publication date:
May 26, 2021
Article Summary: 

What Is Scope Creep and How Can I Avoid It?

Scope creep is a common project management risk that occurs when changes are made to the project scope without any control procedure. This can lead to increased tasks, deliverables and milestones with the same resources and in the same time as the original scope. To control scope creep and prevent it, project managers need scope, change and risk management plans. The scope management plan is a component of the project plan that describes how the scope of the project will be established and controlled. It includes a work breakdown structure, scope statement and the process by which the scope will be approved by stakeholders as a baseline for the project.
A change management plan is essential for project managers to be able to control changes and manage the project effectively. A risk management plan is a document that establishes strategies, roles, responsibilities and funding for risk management. An example of scope creep occurs when stakeholders, clients or team members don't follow the scope and change management procedures. The sponsor of the project was upset and complained that the project was behind schedule and clients were expecting deliverables. The project manager responded that the new product features would not be a problem if change requests were submitted and if he was given more resources to execute the extra work.

The baselined project plan was too ambitious for the additional work to come in on schedule, resulting in the project manager being taken off the project. To avoid scope creep, it is important to document the project requirements, talk to stakeholders and users, manage conflicts, prioritize requirements, and capture all the requirements in a document. This document should contain all the information needed to manage the project requirements such as how they will be tracked and the process to change them, and be shared online so everyone can easily see it.


scope creep, project risk management, project scope, project scope statement, project scoping, product scope, risk management plan

Source Citation: 
Stephanie Ray
What Is Scope Creep and How Can I Avoid It?
May 26, 2021
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