How to Stop Scope Creep in its Tracks

Scope creep is like that mystery Tupperware in the office fridge.

No one will claim it, and you should get rid of it quickly. (We know it was you, Chad!)

Seriously, scope creep is a detriment to any project, causing delays, unmet expectations, and overall dissatisfaction from all involved. But what exactly is it?


What is scope creep?

Scope creep is the tendency for a project to grow larger than what was outlined in the scope of work or contract. It happens when clients want additional features for the same price, or when projects take longer than the expected timeline. It’s asking for more and more during a project and hanging onto a “I’ll know it when I see it” mentality.

Why is scope creep bad?

For you, scope creep can cause you to lose track of your marketing goals. You could get excited about adding a bunch of animations on your website, but if you are, for example, trying to market a corporate firm, fun animations probably won’t be on brand for you. This will involve extra communication and extra hours, costing us all time and money. If you keep asking for more without wanting to pay for more, you will likely be unhappy with the final results.

For us, scope creep prevents us from doing our jobs efficiently. Without clear communication and direction, our team can become confused about your expectations and thus, the final product. If you want added features or deliverables, we are happy to have another discussion about the cost. But please don’t waste time by pushing the boundaries of our original agreement.

You won’t “know it when you see it.”

The “I’ll know it when I see it” mentality leads to a lot of wasted time and poor outcomes on any project. The right design will be on brand and will fit your expectations, but it probably won’t slap you across the face. Our processes are multi-step and thorough for a reason, and we promise that just because lightning didn’t strike the moment you saw your brand board, doesn’t mean it’s terrible.

The way to stop the “I’ll know it when I see it” idea—and, as a result, scope creep—is to have trust in our team and have an open discussion about your vision for your brand. Trust that you have hired professionals who know what they’re doing (and who possibly know more than you about marketing), and trust that they will provide solutions to fit your problems. The more communicative you are, the better we understand your wants and needs. This prevents us from spending extra hours on rounds and rounds of revisions, saving us both money.

To stop scope creep, you need the right people.

Too often, there are situations when someone from our client’s team will give us the go-ahead for a project, only for our efforts to be for naught when the big boss or major stakeholder comes in and nixes everything. Miscommunication, on either team, can lead to unanticipated change, and thus, major scope creep.

Want to stop scope creep? Manage communication through a single source of truth. Designate one person to be the only liaison to convey your business’s goals. This person will have all the facts and relevant information so that we don’t run into unanticipated problems or unclear expectations. Get the right people in the room so we don’t have the wrong outcome later.

Let’s work together to stop scope creep. We’ll all be better off for it.

Ready to stick to a strategy?

Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity, website design and execution, and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courseswe're focused on your business success every step of the way.