The following are different type of scope risks
- Scope creep
- Scope gap
- Scope dependency
Scope creep is the most common scope risk. It stems from gaps in the understanding or documentation of requirements. It is a dispute between the customer and project team over the scope boundary. In most scenarios, the requirements evolve and mutate as the project progresses. It happens when the customer pushes for including something that was not included in the original scope or the project team defines the scope boundary vaguely.
What customer feels “obvious” and hence, bound to be included in the scope is at times missed because “it was not stated by the customer”. Hence, it is imperative to log in all the requirements instead of assuming implicit requirements to avoid Creep.
For example in the bungalow construction. As a customer, you will not tell your contractor what the width of the walls should be. By default, the contractor will build it as per the common norms; however, during construction, if you tell the contractor that you want a double-brick wall for extra safety, the contractor will take it as scope creep.
Sometimes, the project requirements are not understood correctly, because either the customer does not articulate them well or the project team does not pay enough attention and misses in the documentation. This creates a gap in the expectations, which leads to scope gap. In case of a large project, multiple teams work in isolation on the scope statement.
They gather requirements, specific to their module or the area of work. If these modules are not well integrated, there can be gaps in the project scope. It typically happens when there are multiple vendors or teams involved in the project, who work independently.
The third category of scope risks is related to the unexpected scope dependencies. In this category, changes in the scope occur due to some external factors on which the project depends. In the example of constructing a bungalow, the supply problem of cement and steel will slow down the construction work.
A severe rationing of cement due to supply constraints will force the constructor to consider the scope again. You may choose to build only the ground floor and delay the construction of the upper floor. You may alternatively choose to cut down on some of the non-core bungalow features.