This week, Dan Neumann and Justin Thatil are joined by Erik Lindgren to discuss scope creep, a term that everyone working in software development knows well. The expression refers to adding further features or functions of a new product, requirements, or work that is not authorized.

 

In this episode, they dive deep into the challenge of managing timelines and budgets and how frequently a Team can find itself off-track, which is undoubtedly an uncomfortable position. Erik, Dan, and Justin discuss the importance of prioritizing properly, including possible improvements and requirements. Scope creep can be a learning opportunity waiting to be embraced by the Team!

 

Key Takeaways

  • Scope Creep in an Agile environment:

    • In an Agile setting, new ideas must be added to the backlog for them to be prioritized. Once in the backlog, it is necessary to decide whether it is a high priority or not.

    • The stakeholder and client must know about the additional items so they can contribute to the Team in deciding what needs to be included and what can stay out. The involvement of the stakeholders can often be challenging for Agile Teams.

    • What is the most valuable idea to be implemented now? The fact that some ideas are not prioritized at a particular moment does not mean they won’t ever happen; they can take place at a different time.

  • Keeping open communication with stakeholders can sometimes be a challenge.

    • Often, Teams don’t want to feel “exposed,” which is why they withhold certain information.

    • Teams must share vital information with the customer; they can only tell what is essential for them.

  • The “all or nothing” delivery threatens adequate time and budget management.

    • A Team must focus on delivering new increments of value while balancing the inclusion of innovative features.

    • Wanting to achieve everything on the backlog and additional items might be unrealistic; something must come out.

  • Scope creep can be avoided with collaborative delivery. It can be a learning experience for the Team!

 

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