According to wwww.projectscopecreep.com, “Project Scope creep is also known as focus creep, feature creep, function creep, and requirement creep. Project scope creep in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or added objectives in a project’s scope. This phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly documented, defined, or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence, and thus, should be avoided” (“Project scope creep,” 2014).
While I do not have formal experience as an ID or PM, I can provide a scenario. We are currently planning our 30th High School Class Reunion. Of course, we are scattered all over the place. However, with Facebook as a tool, it has made “finding” some people much easier. There are the few who refuse to go on FB so we have to find them the old fashioned way through detective work, phone calls, emails, calls to their parents. One who has been “missing” for a long time was found by a couple of us working together. We were so excited to find him and look forward to finally seeing him again!
So far, the biggest hurdle is nailing down a date. Many people have children or are just starting their families. Trying to work around 250 +/- family schedules is quite difficult. While we thought we had a date in the Fall, it turns out that it will now be late Summer.
Another issue was the venue. They had it nailed down but then budgets are tight and this would have been a doozy to fit into anyone’s budget since the economy has not been good for many people these last couple of years.
So to recap, we have changed the dates and the venue, so far. Now there are a lot of folks who would rather have it at another time. Personally, I think it would be grand to have two smaller reunions and if one can go to both, all the more fun! However, there will be no way of pleasing everyone. It’s not for a lack of trying as evidenced by the two major changes already.
The stakeholders in this case are the alumni and the Reunion Team. Although folks want to have a reunion, not many want to step up to the plate and actually do any of the work, for whatever reasons. The Team has done a great job trying to accommodate as many folks as possible. Getting a 100% turnout will not be possible. Since the dates have changed, the rates for hotels and gas may be cheaper. The dinner was changed to a venue with cash bar, dinner and pay as you go. Everyone is responsible for their own meal and drinks instead of the traditional “sit down” and all is included except for drinks.
Scope creep in this case, came in the very beginning. The Team made good use of their time and brainstorming sessions and came up with a venue, food, and drinks, that was a doable model for most folks attending. The Team did a great job of managing the scope creep, or function creep, and getting it in check ASAP.
The one constant in life is change. It is in how one manages the change that makes the difference. According to Portny (2014), “Avoiding scope creep is not possible. However, monitoring and controlling it, reduces some of the pain”.
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Project scope creep. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.projectscopecreep.com