Scope Creep!


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What is Scope Creep?   Why Scope Creep?  How do we prevent it?

Today I will answer few question which cause frustration to lot of project manager and dear innocent developers who  finally suffer a lot from Work OverLoad and lot of ?? which arise due to the frustration of the Project managers and this dangerous phrase “Scope Creep” .


Every Development Manager needs to be very careful in dealing with the scope of the project. if the manager is not clear with the scope of project TRUST ME then either the project is not going to end as per expectations in Delivery/Quality or the project is simply going in TRASH.

In trash

By the way what is this scope creep?

Answering this complex question in simple and few words,  “Scope creep is defined as the unplanned expansion in the size of project”. i guess you need an expmple  to understand it better.ok i got it..

scope of project

Client: I want to build a simple user profile page.

Manager: what all things you want on profile page?

Client: Not too much, just user picture on left  and his first name, last name and interests..that is it, keep it simple.

Manager: OK . It will be done in 3 hours.

Client: ok cool.

Now manager calls on developers and explain the tasks and developers got it done in  2 hours. (Hardworking Developers). Now before the manager could notify client, client interrupted.

Client: I was thinking we can move the image to right, and with first name, last name lets have email and other contact details as well.

Poor Manager: Ok that is a good idea.”(Just to keep client Happy) and keep money coming in”

back to developers and explain again all the things, again more time will be utilized in fact wasted,  instead of finalizing the scope of project and having a clear vision of what all is needed, things used to come in and things used to change a lot this is what is called Scope Creep.

scope (1)

The Worst situation in a software development project is  “scope creep” and it leads to 

  • Delays
  • Cost OverRuns
  • Lower Quality 
  • Unnecessary Features
  • Excessive ReWork
  • Loss of Staff Motivation 

While the first five problems of scope creep and ineffective change control are intuitive and obvious, the loss of staff motivation can be the most pernicious, synergistically causing the first three problems and, worst of all, attrition and its accompanying knowledge loss.

Now How do we prevent it? Is it possible to control and manage our business process improvement projects more efficiently and effectively? Absolutely! Just about everyone who has ever worked on a project has experienced the problem of project scope creep. It’s like those capsules of sponges, which expand when dropped in water. They usually expand to about ten to twenty times their original size. Why does this happen? The boundaries (plastic capsule) dissolve. Project scope creep also happens because boundaries disappear. So, if it almost always happens, is there any way to prevent it? In order to prevent problems the root-cause must be correctly identified.

If we analyze the root causes of scope of creep, we will find these major issues:

  • Inaccurately defining process and lack of recognition that almost all processes connect to other processes
  • Wrong people are defining the scope
  • Terminology related to the project is not defined
  • Not defining the high level interfaces between processes
  • Neglecting to do a health check on those interfaces
  • Failing to realize that perhaps certain aspects of the project still make it too large to manage


  In nutshell, the process for avoiding scope creep and keeping everyone happy is as follows

  1. Understand what your client wants to achieve.
  2. Collaborate with your client to produce a solution.
  3. Define the scope of works.
  4. Agree the details of the service delivery in writing.
  5. Freeze Specs before starting any development.
  6. Be Clear about what are we building.
  7. Estimate Time correctly in fact keep additional time buffer. 
  8. Divide project in small small tasks and start development. 
  9. Track Your Progress constantly.
  10. Live Happy Life.

If you follow all the above points i am sure that you will be delivering your project on time with satisfaction to everyone including Business managers,employees and definitely client.


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