Every company’s nightmare SCOPE CREEP. If you have been a business analyst or a Project manager then there is no point in your career that you have never dealt with SCOPE CREEP. If you are a new business analyst or a small development house then in a nutshell SCOPE CREEP is change or growth of project scope.
After the project charter which defines the scope of the project is complete the vendor and client freezes the requirements. Technically the requirements mentioned in the scope defines the full project feature set, but as the project progresses the situation worsens.The scope tends to change or vary as what was mentioned in the charter. The scope creep is more during the later phase of the project as team gains more knowledge of the problem and solution.
Clients also play a huge role for scope creep as they say this is not what they want and they want a new functionality or change how the process is mapped in the new system. Trust me client can come up with 1001 ways to increase the scope and still portray like this is what he meant when he signed the charter.
Why Project Scope Creep is not good.
- More time spent for new requirements
- Resources needs to be employed again.
- Integrating the new scope into the project, requires more planning
- Less Return on Investment
- In many cases the scope creep can cost as much as four times the actual cost or it may lead to project cancellation as well.
Note:- Cost calculation method varies from organization to organization.
Who gets affected by the Scope Creep Primarily.
- Business Analyst
- Project Manager
- Technically all the stakeholders
Note : You can also see the RACI matrix sheet for seeing who is accountable for what. Blog post Added on 24th July 2011.
How to Reduce Scope Creep
- More and more meetings with clients.
- Break code into small releases ( Does not mean it has to be Agile)
- Business Functions should be mapped precisely to I.T.
- Use Prototyping or JAD techniques (could increase cost)
- Record Every conversation with client. Take notes.
- Understand the client’s business before going into meetings.
- Revise the scope document after every meeting.
- Think like a client and their business perspective. How the final product will help their business function better.
How to avoid scope creep.
In my career I have never seen a project where the requirements never changed. There will always be a fact that was overlooked when the scope was being drafted or a feature which was promised will take more effort than calculated. So avoiding would not be the best word here, what we can do is we can work towards managing the scope creep. One of the recommended method is request for change procedure.
Request for change procedure (You can refer to ITIL documentation) is the process mentioned in the project charter or project scope which outlines that if the project scope changes then following processes shall be followed to accommodate those changes in the product. This is very important as it will save your company a lot of money.
A change control form should have at least these things :-
- Name of the requester
- Description of the change
- Impact on the project
then it should be signed again or mutually agreed upon by both the parties.
Don’t let the SCOPE CREEP ON THE PROJECT.