Scope creep can be defined as “the natural tendency of the client, as well as project team members, to try to improve the project’s output as the project progresses” (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008, p. 346). This could be something as simple as doing a home improvement project in an old house. A specific project may be planned such as fixing a leaking toilet which expands to new flooring and painting the room. That has happened to me. Old houses always involve more work than one originally plans for.
However, I want to discuss a project I was assigned at work. I obtained my Associate in Applied Science in Computer Programming while working in the Intensive Care Unit. Although we had our facility web page, nursing service decided they wanted to have their own and I was chosen to create it. It started out as a simple FrontPage single site for mainly policies, procedures, and resources. However, once I got the page up and running, several other specialty areas started requesting pages that would link from it, and several people wanted other things added to the main page. I tried to evaluate them to make sure they were appropriate and used my own prioritizations. I eventually added pages for wound care, nursing education, ethics, home-based primary care, and pharmacy, and added several other things as requested.
If I had been the project manager I would have used a change control system, which is defined as setting “up a well-controlled, formal process whereby changes can be introduced and accomplished with as little distress as possible” (Portny, et al., 2008, p. 346). All of the changes would have been reviewed and determined how it would affect other tasks. I would have the chief nurses in authority approve the changes and help determine the benefits and disadvantages of additions being proposed as well as the priority of them. In fact, I did later make sure the chief nurses were aware and approved everything that was added.
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B.E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.