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Preventing and Managing Scope Creep

What is the bane of most project manager’s existences? While there are many issues that affect the completion and success of any project, none have as large of an effect as Scope Creep.

What is Scope Creep?

Scope Creep is when the original project scope begins to expand, creating increasing demands on the project team. While it is something that seemingly takes place on all projects, requirements changing over the course of an engagement, what differentiates and thus defines it as scope creep is that these changes are not authorized by all parties. Scope creep can happen intentionally, such as when an underhanded client tries to get more out of a project than they paid for, or unintentionally, such as when the project team underestimates the time required to conduct quality assurance and consequently misses a deliverable deadline. Scope creep can be driven by individuals at all levels of a project’s staffing, including the client executive team, the project team lead, or a business analyst on the project team, and can occur at almost any point in a project’s life cycle.

The opportunities for scope creep to have an impact on a project may seem endless, and that’s because they are. While scope creep has always been a factor in project management, its’ effect on the success of these ventures has become a larger a larger factor in modern-day project management. According to PMI’s 2018 Pulse of the Profession survey, 52% of projects completed in the past 12 months experienced scope creep or uncontrolled changes to the project’s scope, a significant increase from the 43% reported just five years ago.

In order to alleviate the effects of scope creep on your firm, it’s important to understand why it takes place, and how it can harm your project and your company, so you can properly prevent and manage this profit-killing phenomenon.

Click to read more about how Toptal, an industry leader in creative business, design and technology leaders with smart solutions, helps their clients overcome Scope Creep.



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