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How to Control Project Scope Creep

Scope creep is the gradual expansion of project work without formal consideration and acceptance of these changes or their associated costs and effects. Scope creep can occur as a result of any of the following:

  • Lack of clarity and detail in the original description of project scope, objectives, and work

  • Willingness to modify a project without formal review and approval

  • Willingness to let people who don’t do the work associated with the changes decide whether to make changes

  • The feeling that you should never say “No” to a client

  • Personal pride that encourages you to believe you can do anything

Control scope creep by doing the following:

  • Include detailed descriptions of all project objectives in your plan.

  • Always assess the effect of requested changes on project products, schedules, and resources.

  • Share your true feelings about whether you can implement the requested changes.

  • Develop honest and open relationships with your clients so they’re more receptive when you raise issues associated with their requested changes.

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