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How prevalent is scope creep in your organization?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How prevalent is scope creep in your organization?

  • Not at all. We manage scope very tightly and effectively: 4.27%
  • A little. We occasionally face scope creep but it’s not too bad: 20.22%
  • Moderate. We get scope right about half the time: 28.54%
  • A lot. More often than not we increase scope: 32.51%
  • Rampant. Scope has little meaning or rigor for us: 14.16%

Scope is out of control: More than 45% are reporting a pretty big problem where there’s either a lot of creep or that creep is rampant. Your job as a leader isn’t to manage the project itself — your job is to keep it under control. I’ve previously discussed managing scope in this post, and it includes guidance on setting clear boundaries, expanding scope in controlled steps and rigorously managing priorities. If you do so, you have a much better chance of keeping your project on track and meeting its objectives.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper.”