This week community members weighed in to share their top tips for dealing with scope-creep in this juicy community discussion. Read on to learn some of their top tips!
CJ Andrew: Perhaps the best way to combat scope creep is to be "agile" in responding to changing objectives. It may be useful to start by getting an overall picture; then break the project down into multiple activities. This can be done with the knowledge that requirements and scope will change over time.
Alexandros Anoyatis: Qualify early, avoid charging a flat fee if scope has not been clearly set beforehand, mention additional charges in your statement of work, add a 15/20% buffer clause for "unforeseen" circumstances (a euphemism for scope creep) and use it if it happens.
Ashley Chiasson: Nail down a contract, and be extremely specific when it comes to what type of interactivity the client will get, how many review cycles they will have, and what it will cost them per hour or day if they add to or go above and beyond the specified review cycles and/or agreed upon elements.
Allen VanBrunt: [Scope creep is] usually beyond the control of the instructional designer but can be impacted by clearly defining training objectives as early as possible in the design process and getting them approved. Goals and objectives can be reviewed and modified to address the areas listed above to minimize scope creep.
Allison LaMotte: Clients have a tendency to forget what was defined in the beginning, or get carried away with exciting ideas. I usually dealt with this issue by reminding them that their request is outside the initial scope and asking them if they’d like to revisit it (and thus the budget and timeline). More often than not, when they realized money was involved or that the timeline would be affected they decided it was no longer necessary to make the changes.
Jerson Campos: When scope creep happens, don't automatically say yes or no to the changes. You should do a thorough analysis on how this will affect your three constraints: time, quality, and costs. Present this to the client or stakeholders and let them make the decisions with the new changes... Once the new changes have been approved you can continue doing the work.
Chris Cole: I discuss this with clients at the very start of a potential engagement... and they get excited that we know how to handle unexpected changes during the project (AKA scope creep) and what the potential costs will be (in terms of both cost AND time). Knowing all of this information up front lessens their stress, and it gives the person we are working with leverage in controlling their SMEs or executives who want to throw everything into a course or rewrite the entire course.
Christy Tucker: I usually include something like "The following items are not included in the scope for the current project, but may be added at an additional rate of $X/hour." The "out of scope" list includes additional content, late content changes after approvals, and additional review cycles.When clients ask me for something out of scope I try to say, "Yes, I can do that. It will cost $X additional and push the delivery date out by Y weeks." That lets them decide if it's important enough to justify the cost and time.
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