Scope creep during testing and training

Scope creep during testing and training

Scope creep is the most common cause of budget overruns and timeline delays in a new AMS, LMS, or Website project. Scope creep typically occurs during the testing and training phases (or worse, after go-live), and can be a result of any of the following:

  • Insufficient detail in the requirements and/or specifications document
  • High-level objectives not supported by detailed specifications
  • Lack of focus on evaluating business process changes as part of the discovery and specification phase
  • Key users and/or management not involved in the evaluation and approval of specifications up front
  • Lack of focus on usability and user interface design up front
  • Poor change control procedures that do not require written justification of changes to project scope


Scope-Creep Occurs if Project Scope Documents are too High-Level

Budget 8 (option 2)

*  Scope-creep commonly occurs during implementation if the project scope documents developed during Step #2 are too high-level.  Requests for changes to the project scope during implementation cause budget overruns and timeline delays.

Also, the budget and timeline estimated in Step #1 will not be accurate if the initial project scope documents developed during Step #1 are too high-level.

The Framework, along with ISCG professional consultants, guides you through all three of the above steps, ensuring that you have the proper level of detail in all project scope documents.

How the Framework helps avoid scope creep:

  • The Framework’s RFP contains detailed requirements. The Framework, along with ISCG professional consultants, provides guidance on customizing the baseline RFP so that it includes additional requirements that may be unique to your organization. The vendor’s detailed response to the RFP becomes the foundation for your contract for the new AMS, LMS, or Website, and is used to guide the vendor discovery process.
  • The Framework provides a step-by-step methodology for analyzing business process changes during the evaluation & selection phase, as well as the vendor discovery phase. Workflow diagrams showing the desired changes to your existing processes will communicate to all parties what is expected in the new system.
  • The Framework provides specific guidance on how to review the specification documents developed by the vendor in the Vendor Discovery phase. The guidance includes recommendations on the conditions for granting or withholding approval of the project scope documents.
  • If changes to the project scope are requested during implementation, the Framework’s Change Request Form requires written justification showing the ROI, impact on budget, and revised project timeline. Guidance is provided on policies and procedures for using the form and obtaining management approval of change requests.

See “Scope Creep” for additional information on how to avoid this critical risk. Controlling scope creep is one of management’s most important responsibilities in order to bring the project in on-time and on-budget.


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IT Guidance Framework