Project scope is pretty simple, it is all that is required and only what is required. Once a project manager determines what is required of the project then anything else will be out of scope. When those items which are out of scope start being worked into the project without going through change control, you have scope creep:
- CHANGE CONTROL PROCESS:
The first way to avoid scope creep is have a solid change control process. That means a process is written and followed. Changes to the project have to follow the agreed formal process and nothing is in scope until the Change Control Board agrees to the change. This all starts with a change control form that details the change. Without a change control process, any project is going to have scope creep because the stakeholders won’t have a process to add or eliminate changes that happen during the project.
- CHANGE CONTROL ENFORCEMENT:
The second way to avoid scope creep is to have a governing body that will enforce a change control process. So many projects have good intentions and set up a change control process but stakeholders will disregard the process if they know they can get away with it. A strong governing body will stop changes from occurring if those changes are not approved. This will stop scope creep and produce better project results.
- DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS:
The third way to avoid scope creep is to have requirements well documented. Use a requirements traceability matrix to track requirements and deliverables. Create a scope statement and work break down structure (WBS). These documents will help establish the project scope baseline and will give the project a good definition and clarity of the project scope.
Change is always present in any project but if not managed properly, scope creep will appear and the project will not have the best results.