Last week I posted my best advice for e-learning freelancers in the form of a poster:
After posting this, I had a question: What is scope creep? Great question! There I go again with my industry jargon, making the assumption that everyone knows what I’m talking about…and you know what assumptions do. After having this question posed, it seemed like a great opportunity to explain the phrase on this week’s edition of Terminology Tuesday. It’s a two part-er!
It could be scope’s creepy friend (and sometimes it is), but it’s really broken down into two components. First, we have Scope. Scope refers to the scope of the project and is typically outlined in a contract or statement of work (p.s. if you don’t have it in writing…get it in writing!). Scope dictates the project requirements, and what will be included. In e-learning, it’s smart to be very specific when outlining scope (e.g. Module 1 contains 1 scenario, 2 interactive screens, and 3 static screens) because the more specific you are, the less you will be affected by creep. Secondly, we have creep. Creep occurs when clients attempt to get more than they signed on for and this is where you need to stand firm. When a client asks for ‘just one more scenario’ in Module 5, you should come back to their request with a compromise. For example, ‘well. we can add one more scenario in Module 5 if we remove one scenario from Module 2.”
Giving your client an inch of leeway by agreeing to add elements outside of the agreed upon project scope can quickly become a mile. I’ve worked on projects that were originally scoped at a 6 month development time, but due to some not so super project management, the client ended up receiving their courseware after 1 year of development, the project made absolutely no profit (it actually cost the company to finish it), all because the project manager kept agreeing to ‘just one more’ revision, scenario, etc.
So, in a very simple explanation: scope creep is when your client creeps their project requirements past the originally agreed upon scope.
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