Scope creep is also called requirement creep, function creep, feature creep, or kitchen sink syndrome. Scope creep refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled expansion in a project’s scope. Scope creep can be seen in executing, monitoring and controlling phase and remains in project till the project close. It affects the final delivery date of the project.
Scope creep is a subtle process that starts with small adjustments and ends up resulting in projects that take far longer to complete or even fail before they are finished. Sometimes scope creep can result in final deliverables that look nothing like what was originally envisioned.
Let me explain with a simple use case:
Say, for example, you are managing a house construction project. Your project objective is to construct a two-floor building. You have three members in the team Jack, John, and Rob. Each member has been assigned work like foundation and wall, paint, wiring & electrical respectively. Here all the task are inter-related. Jack is responsible for creating the foundation and wall. Once Jack created the wall some stakeholder ask him to create a wall in little different structure. This causes Jack to work one more week. John was not able to start his work since he is responsible for painting the wall. John starts his work after the wall was created. He painted two walls and when he was working on the roof some stakeholder asked him to change the color of one wall. This causes one more day to complete the paint work. Same thing happens with Rob also.
Here scope creep happened because stakeholder asks little changes on the project. This lead fails to deliver the project on time.
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