Video: What is Scope Creep?
We’re very happy to present to you a brand new video series called Project Management Made Easy. In this series we’ll be teaching something new about project management every week for all you newbies out there. Our goal is to help you understand the basics and then move into more complicated topics to turn you into an expert.
We hope you find the information useful. We’d also love to hear about your experience with the concepts we discuss. Don’t be shy!
Ash: Hi, Welcome to [name of our video blog]
I’m so happy you could join me for our first video of many. I’m hoping that the info we share will help you understand a bit little more about the world of project management, one step at a time.
So you’re probably wondering why I’m qualified to teach you anything. I’ve been a marketer for the past eight years and I’ve worked on hundreds of projects without really knowing that I was a project manager. The team here at Easy Projects has kindly lent me their combined 100 years of experience and research on the topic of Project Management so I feel pretty confident about sharing all of this knowledge with you. Let’s get to it!
So today’s topic is one that we often get asked about a lot from new project managers and from people studying for their PMP: What is Scope Creep? (It’s such a weird term right?)I thought so when I heard it for the first time anyway.
Let me give you an example of my own:
When I started at Easy Projects this past December, I took a couple of weeks to really learn the ins and outs of the product and the company. After that the VP and I sat down and discussed the strategy. After that we made a list of things that he wanted me to deliver. And thus, the task list was born.
Now, as the projects and tasks began, I started getting requests from other departments about things that were not in the original scope but were important to the overall strategy. The sales team wanted better collateral, the customer service team wanted better templates and even the VP himself kept on adding things that were not originally discussed. Within one month my task list was out of control and I had no idea where to focus. It seemed like there was so much to do and it was ALL important immediately.
Scope creep is when your stakeholders begin to add things to the project that were not agreed upon originally. You still have the same amount of time to get the job done but now you have more stuff to do. What happens if scope creep is not controlled quickly? Mayhem.
We’re talking about overdue tasks, spiraling budgets and stuff that may never get done.
So what did I do to fix the problem? I set my priorities and created a list of must-do tasks by certain dates. I communicated with my team about what they could expect by a certain date and put everything else into different phases. I started this project with a single stakeholder, but then one department pitched in and then everyone started sending requests via email and they would drop by at my desk including post it notes stuck to my computer. So I said , guys we have to eat our own dog food, if you wanna see any changes to the scope, send everything through the custom form.
Set your priorities when it comes to the project. Remember the end goals and remember to let your stakeholders know what the original plan was. Stick to it and don’t try to accommodate everyone because your projects may never get done.
Remember that most people try to find ways in which to control scope creep, however this is often not possible. The best thing you can do is manage it as best you can. If you’re like me, you may be a “yes” person. Someone who bites off more that they can do because you are so enthusiastic about what you can accomplish. Learn how to say no from time to time. It may be one of the best things you’ll ever do.
If you’re currently managing a project that’s out of control, I challenge you to take control. Go to your team and let them know about the Scope Creep and what you can realistically deliver. It will make you feel so much better
If you have questions about specific details of scope creep or If you have something specific that you want us to cover drop us a line in the comments section.
Next up? Time Estimation
Thanks for watching, see you next time!
Ash Aujla is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Easy Projects. She's obsessed with marketing, productivity and project management. She appreciates good design, good music, and really good coffee.