Scope creep refers to increasing featurism, adding small yet time- and resource-consuming features to the system once the scope of the project has been approved. For example, a project sponsor may try to add various bells and whistles to the project scope. Yet, scope creep does not always come from the project sponsor side. The project team itself may come across interesting or novel ideas as the project work progresses. Its enthusiasm for adding these ideas can divert its attention or add featuresand functions to the system that the project sponsor did not ask for and does not need. Scope creep must be identified and controlled throughout the project because it will lengthen the project schedule and, in turn, lead to cost overruns.
If scope creep is caused by increasing featurism, scope leap suggests afundamental and significant change in the project scope. For example, the original scope for the bank’s electronic commerce project was to provide new products andservices to its customers. Scope creep may be adding a new feature, such as a new product or service, not originally defined in the project’s scope.
Scope leap, on the other hand, is an impetus to change the project so that the electronic commerce system would allow the bank to obtain additional funding in the open market. Adding this activity would dramatically change the entire scope and focus of the project.
Scope leap can occur as a result of changes in the environment, the business, and the competitive makeup of the industry. Scope leap entails changing the MOV and, therefore, requires that the organization rethink the value of the current project. If this change is critical, the organization may be better off pulling the plug on the current project and starting over by conceptualizing and initiating a new project.
Scope grope is a metaphor that describes a project team’s inability to define the project’s scope. This situation is common early in a project when the project team and sponsor have trouble understanding what the project is supposed to accomplish. Scope grope can be minimized by having a clearly defined MOV.