Scope Creep the budget killer

Do not fall foul of scope creep; So you have your project under way, everything is going nicely, then at the next meeting with the customer that drop in a small addition that they would like to add in.

No problem you say, so you add it into the plan, its only a small thing so shouldn’t be a drama. The next meeting the customer requests another slightly larger item to be added.

Before you know where you are the project is at risk of over run and over budget, why is it going over your customer says, the same question comes from other stake holders.

The reason is scope creep!

When you agreed the project scope (you did that didn’t you), you set out what was and wasn’t included in the project, this then dictated the required resources and the time it would take. By agreeing to the additional scope, the project scope has increased.

Often commercially you will be happy to take the additional scope as a value added part of the project, this is absolutely fine, but at this point you will want to add it to the scope document as and addition.

In adding it to the scope document, you are formalising it, and keeping a record for later in the project. You may need to explain to your customer or stakeholder why the project has over run. As you add the additional scope to the document, you may decide that either on its own or with the other items it is a chargeable addition, which will help with the bottom line.

Either of these scenarios are fine, however if you didn’t agree the scope of the project prior to starting then you could quite easily start falling foul of scope creep, the additional costs will mount and could in the worst case push the project into a negative position. Always agree the scope of the project before you start it.

Jason Pope