Beat Omnipresent Scope Creep With Communication

in Project

Somehow, there is the opportunity for some requirements to be easily included and excluded into the project scope. If you follow a few guidelines, you will be effectively able to handle what is known as 'scope creep'.

It is often seen that the developer may add a few new things out of the scope of the project with the thought that it will help improve customer satisfaction levels. However, it is time consuming - and at the same time, does not ensure success of the new addition at the end of the project.


Scope creep is often the result of unclear planning. The first project meeting is when the rules for the project's scope are defined.

If a formal document is created to address the scope, scope creep can be handled by making a formal change control document that can be maintained to report any changes that are made.

Additions are bound to happen to a certain extent in Six Sigma projects, but without a change control document in place, it would be an unanticipated addition for the other participants of the project.

Formal Sign-Off

A formal sign-off of the project is not undertaken by some team members, as they must take responsibility and accountability if the requirements are not understood completely.

Stakeholders who have no agreement on the requirements are often responsible for scope creep occurring. Even a verbal agreement in a team meeting can be noted as a part of the minutes of the meeting, to ensure that it is written down somewhere.

As much as change control is necessary for Six Sigma projects, so is the signing-off and understanding the expectations.

Document Change Control

Change control, when documented, outlines the explanation on any additions or deletions done the project. It can act as a guideline for areas where re-coding, testing and additional resource arrangements may be required.

If there were a specific person in charge of the complete change control, there would be a single central point of contact for more details about the change brought in. With proper communication of the changes come different stages and meetings ensure that nothing is missed and approval given.

By evaluating which changes have what sort of impact on the various components of the project, a timely understanding of the enhancements can be achieved. This helps the team figure out which ones would be beneficial to the aim of the project and critical to overall improvements.

Just Say No

Project managers may not be in a position to decide if certain things are added or not.

Projects have to be completed in a timely manner and within budget. Scope creep is responsible for the disruption of this time schedule, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the prior plan. By making additions over a period of time, these factors are compromised upon to a certain extent - and may be responsible for the failure of the project.

Scope creep needs to be handled carefully, and additions that seem necessary or not should be included or removed accordingly. With proper communication among team members, any compromises become easier to handle and keep the project within prescribed limits.

Author Box
Tony Jacowski has 1 articles online

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Add New Comment

Beat Omnipresent Scope Creep With Communication

Log in or Create Account to post a comment.
Security Code: Captcha Image Change Image
This article was published on 2010/04/02