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Can scope creep be good for a project?

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There is a school of thought that argues that, far from being undesirable, some degree of scope creep may in fact be beneficial for certain types of projects e.g. it encourages stakeholder engagement, indicates responsiveness, and shows that objectives and WBS tasks are being regularly re-evaluated and re-aligned. The only caveat is that whatever scope creep occurs is properly managed and controlled.

Do you have any opinions on this view of scope creep?

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Hi,

Project scope creep is an element in the project that is not avoidable. It is because changes can occur at any given time during project execution. Project scope creep is not at all bad, and can also be considered good when the project ...

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Scope Creep in Project Mangement

This module is about the problems of creating companywide systems and acquiring the necessary hardware, software, and qualified IT personnel. It is also about all the reasons why this is a very difficult thing to do, at least in accordance with plans and within the budget. Like all organizational decision-making, systems planning and acquisition is a complex muddle of conflicting goals, interests, unclear reasons, payoffs, and poor communication. This indictment is presented without apology, because it is, in fact, typical. This is not to say that there are not exceptions, and occasionally systems planning and acquisition is actually done well. But many things in the organization mitigates against this, and we often fight a rearguard action against all the forces that work routinely in favor of chaos.

A good start will be to go over the fundamentals of IT system planning:

Toolbox.com (2005, July 31), Strategic systems planning - methodology, Retrieved from http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/enterprise-solutions/strategic-systems-planning-methodology-5197

Ram Dutt Shukla (2009, July 21), Information system plan, Slideshare, Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/engineerrd/information-system-plan-1747661#btnNext

A good place to begin is also with Dion Hinchcliffe's article on enterprise architecture structure and development:

Hinchcliffe D., (2009, August 11). Pragmatic new models for enterprise architecture take shape. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe/pragmatic-new-models-for-enterprise-architecture-take-shape/674.

But the ruination of many good plans for rational and systematic architectures lies in what's called "scope creep" -- the gradual changing of a design during its implementation, often to the point where it becomes unrecognizable. Here's a short video that illustrates the issue. It's not about an information system as such, but you'll recognize the dialogue here, perhaps in a familiar context:

EngPMgt. (2011). Scope creep - Project Management. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHSjpFUKQR4.

So what to do about it? Well, here are two pretty good sets of advice:

Vandermitt, C. (2011, June 11). Managing scope creep in project management. The Project Management Hut. Retrieved from http://www.pmhut.com/managing-scope-creep-in-project-management.

Baker, A., & Greer, M. (2011). Best practices for minimizing project scope creep focus. Retrieved from http://michaelgreer.biz/BP-project-scope-creep.pdf.

In addition, the optional readings expand on many of the central points; you may also want to do some independent Internet-based research of your own to clarify any issues that concern you.

When you have read through the articles and related material, please compose a 4-6 page critical analysis paper, following the general point/counterpoint model described below, on the topic:

"Review the challenges in IT syetm planning and discuss in details the problem of scope creep"

You must pick one of the two opposing points of view to defend in your paper, although you aren't necessarily obligated to discredit the opposing viewpoint; simply argue that the viewpoint you are taking is better supported by the literature and the evidence. Obviously, as noted below, this will obligate you to actually be able to present such evidence in an academically respectable manner.

-Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely
-Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.
-Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position -- that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position.
-Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement.

By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.

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