What is Scope Creep?
Simply put, scope creep is when a project's requirements, goals, and vision changes go overwhleming what was originally agreed upon.While it comes up, the project will not be clearly defined any more, even the reponsiblities becomes uncertain. It might be just sligt things added again and again, and you will just realize there are so more items you need to complete.
Scope creep can be caused by:
- poor user story change control without further review
- lack of proper initial identification of what is required to bring about the project objectives
- project manager or executive sponsor not capable or strong enough
- lack of communications between multiple parties
- initial product versatility shortage
How can you prevent scope creep?
For starters, let us just say that scope changes aren’t something you should avoid at all costs. If you work in an agile environment, then you’re probably expecting changes to happen. What you want to mitigate is the result of your scope’s uncontrolled growth. Let’s go through some strategies for preventing scope creep:
- Establish communication guidelines for all stakeholders. Let them know which channels they should use, when it is a good moment to discuss new requirements, whom they should contact within the team, etc. It may help you to avoid external pressure on the team.
- Have some flexibility within the budget/timelines. Change in project management is unavoidable. You need to have a buffer to stay comfortable and not make decisions solely based on the fear of exceeding the budget.
- Know which requirements are the most important. Project task prioritizing will help you tremendously. When you know which in-scope tasks are potentially expendable, you can deal with scope creep better.
- Communicate the status of any project element you’re showing to the client. Unsolicited feedback from stakeholders may easily lead to scope creep. Be clear when feedback or new ideas are useful, and when you’re showing parts of the project for a different purpose.
- Choose the right tool, You can also implement a tool to help clarify things in your team. Choosing the right project management tool is what successful project teams must do. Through collaborating and using tools to keep each other on the same page, the gap caused by different interpretations among departments can be minimized. Each team member should enter the efforts in the system and update the hours cost finishing the task. Then, the project manager could oversee and predict the progress of the project.
ZenTao is a Scrum tool, and can help you with:
- Product management: story management, plan management, release management, product roadmap.
- Project management: team and effort management, task management, Kanban, tree, list, group views, Burndown chart.
- Test management: test case, test case library, test suit, test plan, test result, bug management.
- Continuous Improvement: Jenkins integration, automation testing, Git/SVN repository management, etc.
- Document management: document library, online preview and editing,
- Reports: customized reports, built-in reports, and Crystal reports.
- Dashboard: todo, calendar, tasks assigned to me, and the summary of work for today.
The difference between ZenTao and pm tools is that ZenTao divides the complex project management into four major items: story, task, bug, and case, through which ZenTao supports the lifecycle of application development. ZenTao Cloud is also available now.