Scope Creep refers to uncontrolled expansion or changes to product or project scope without adjustment to the time, cost, and resources. It can happen when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, and controlled. Not Involving Users Early Enough.
Gold plating refers to intentionally adding extra features to the product that the customer may or may not be pleased with.
Scope Creep & Gold Plating are both concerned with changes to the project scope which may or may not be approved by the sponsor. Both are bad for the project and should be avoided as you will have to adjust the additional scope within the original time, cost, and resources.
The key differences is, Gold plating related changes are usually to adds extra features to products whereas scope creep related changes are to meet customer product requirements.
How to control both Scope Creep & Gold plating
1. Identify stakeholders early in the project.
2. Document the Requirements. The single most important thing to avoid scope creep on your project is to document your requirements.
3. Verify the Scope with the Stakeholders.
4. Shorter release and iteration length. The time-boxing approach helps to minimize scope creep.
5. Set up Change Control Processes.
6. Engage the Project Team throughout the project life cycle.
7. Frequent performance reviews.
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