Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Analyzing Scope Creep

For this blog the assignment is to describe a project where we experienced issues with scope creep, answering the following questions;  

What specific scope creep issues occurred?
How did you or other stakeholders deal with those issues at the time?
Looking back on the experience now, had you been in the position of managing the project, what could you have done to better manage these issues and control the scope of the project?

The project was to replace appliances in the kitchen, but by the time we were done the kitchen and bathroom were remodeled, along with a fresh coat of paint throughout the entire house.  As this was a personal project we did not create a project plan or document the scope of the project, specifically we did not define what was outside of the scope of the project.  The original project plan was to hire a resource to replace all the appliances, which included moving one appliance from one side of the kitchen to the other side, and to complete all the plumbing and wiring that went along with that move.  But, as mentioned above the project grew and we ended up replacing all the kitchen countertops, cabinets, and floor.  We also replaced floor and sink/cabinet in the bathroom, and had the entire house painted. 

The project scope creep resulted in hiring additional resources; luckily the original resource had help he could secure.  The budget also grew along with the time to complete the whole project.  As stakeholders we had to secure extra funding, and find alternative living arrangements for three weeks, again this was not difficult to do as we did have a place to go to, but it was not planned for.

Looking back at what we could have done to better manage and control the project scope creep I think we should have created a budget that we could not exceed.  We also should have identified what was in and out of scope.  Doing so, would have limited the amount of work we could have contracted out and have saved both time and money.  The book on Project Management says project managers should expect some type of change during projects and recommends ways to handle those changes “The best approach is to set up a well-controlled, formal process whereby changes can be introduced and accomplished with as little distress as possible.  This process is known as the change control system” (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008, p. 346).  Also recommended is to document, communicate, and obtain signoff from all relevant parties involved, for any changes to a project.


Portny, S., Mantel, S., Meredith, J., Shafer, S., & Sutton, M. (2008). Project Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.