Saturday, December 24, 2011

What is scope creep? How can we prevent it?

I have faced this many times. Due diligently I follow the requirement documents and create software. But on many occasions testers/customers will discover new requirements from the existing ones. They may be doing this with right intention but imagine the waste when we have to continuously redo our work every time. Apart from the rework imagine the chaos it can create. If this creates so many problems, should we completely prevent such changes? Never. Software should be adaptable and extensible enough make such changes without adversely affecting other areas/features.

There should be a mechanism by which we should allow these changes to happen but in a controlled manner. Scrum has a definite answer to this problem.

As long as the "creep" doesn't happens during the sprint its fine. Once the items for a sprint are finalized then nothing else should be added. The sprint demo should happen only on the items which were agreed during sprint planning & only on the conditions of acceptance defined. If anything new is found during actual sprint execution or during sprint demo, then it should be noted down and added to the backlog. PO can prioritize these new changes for the team after discussion with the stakeholders.

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