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How to Avoid Scope Creep During Software Development

People working on computers in a dimly lit room Scope creep occurs when a software project’s size and goals expand beyond their original parameters. It can prevent work from being completed on time and within its budget. Here are a few ways to avoid scope creep when developing new software.

Recognize Risk Factors From the Start

Acknowledging that your project is susceptible to scope creep from day one is often the best way to prevent it from happening during the software development process. During the early stages of planning, you should discuss the factors that may slow your team down and develop strategies for confining the work to its established framework.

Communicate With the Other Stakeholders

Another tactic for avoiding scope creep is prioritizing communication with fellow project stakeholders during the planning period. While performing your initial analysis, work with them to establish firm, detailed boundaries for the project’s scope and have them clearly outline their goals. You should also maintain an open line of communication with them during the later stages of development so that each stakeholder can let you know if the project is at risk of becoming overly ambitious.

Divide the Project Into Smaller Components

Looking at the big picture for too long can cause you to lose perspective on the task at hand. Try breaking the project down into several smaller components to make things more manageable. As each element of the project is completed, treat it as a milestone and an opportunity to check that everything is moving forward on time and within budget.

Avoid Doing Too Much

After spending weeks or months working on a project, it’s understandable that you’d want it to make a big impression when you present it. However, pushing a project beyond its original parameters is one of the most common causes of scope creep. Try to avoid flashy add-ons like unnecessary features and convoluted designs because they can quickly eat up time and money that would have been better spent focusing on your established goals. If the other stakeholders insist on making a project more complex, you’ll need to discuss adjusting its budget and time frame.

To avoid scope creep when creating programs internally, consider working with an external developer. Susco creates innovative, results-driven software solutions that meet each client’s goals and specifications. To learn more about how we can help your business grow, read about some of our past projects or contact us at (504) 264-9343.

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