Have you ever worked on a campaign, project or initiative that kept growing in complexity? Then you’ve suffered from Scope Creep.
And what is wrong with Scope Creep? Here are some of my real life examples of projects that started (or did) get out of control.
Let’s Add 1 More Thing
I’ve was on a project team where the goal was to launch one new feature to our website, one. But we had executives and various stakeholders that kept trying to add other features while we were already doing development work. None of these new features were defined in the initial part of the project. It really jeopardized how we were going to get the project done on “time” and on “budget” because of all the resources that were exhausted. I mean how many companies have you worked for that had endless supplies of money?
Where’s the Documentation?
I was working with a vendor that was a little junior or green. This was noticeable to me because of the lack of documentation on the processes that were already in place and the processes that we needed to change. Projects don’t fly-by-the-seat of their pants. Projects need rigor and detail and deep understanding of the risks associated. When these dots can’t be connected, the project creeps into no man’s land.
Definition of Roles
This one is near and dear to my heart because it was a lesson I learned the hard way. At the time I was working on a deliverable and I admittedly did not clearly define the roles of the individuals who would be helping me get the project to completion. This ended up being a huge problem because I was working cross-functionally, and I thought I had more time from individuals than I actually did. What would have helped here was a RACI or responsibility matrix. I could have more easily identified not just to myself but to the team and stakeholders, the involvement needed to get the job done.
There are definitely more examples of scope creep, the key is being able to avoid them. My advice is to be as methodical as possible when part of a project. Use divide-and-conquer strategies to help divvy up the work. Also, think long and hard before you decide to make and scope changes. You’ll thank yourself in the end.