Project scope is the work that needs to be carried out in order to achieve the desired project outcomes; in this case a functioning app that meets the customer’s needs.

Scope creep occurs when the project requirements increase during the process, from various stakeholders in the project, which allows the customers to keep requesting additional features and the deadlines being pushed back to allow for these extra additions. For example an app that was created with the intention of having 5 main features, has now increased to 8 during the development process.

To keep your app development as linear and on-target as possible, follow these 3 fail safe steps to avoid scope creep.

Set Project Scope From The Offset

Determine the project scope and requirements at the very beginning, through key stakeholder analysis and client/team discussions and planning meetings. It’s important to state what the app will achieve but also what it will NOT do. This is important to highlight from the offset so the client or someone else can’t turn around later in the project and start requesting certain features. It eliminates confusion and upset.

Develop and Stick To A Change Control Plan

Unfortunately no app development project is immune to change. Therefore, implementing a plan that everyone adheres to will make system changes a lot easier to add and manage going forward. When someone wants to make a change make sure to have steps in place to assess this and either approve or reject it and then how it is brought about in the project. Who reviews and discusses these changes with the team? How is the change process tracked to see if it is working properly?

Project Management systems and communication must be laid out from the offset to ensure everyone is on the same page and can talk to each other effectively throughout the project.

Involve and Interact With Users Early On

Scope creep can occur when client management begin interacting with their customers later on in the app development process and then discover new ideas that they want to implement. Instead of leaving it too late in the development stages to discuss the app with users, why not involve them in the process from early on? Make a prototype that allows users to see where the app is headed and gather the necessary feedback to ensure you are creating an app that is user-focused, not aimed at the clients or developers! This ensures the project stays on track and can meet deadlines, or the right changes can be worked in from early on.

If you’re already going through the motions of developing an app but notice a few problems seeping through, address it immediately with the product owner, your manager or Scrum Manager if you work through the agile methodology. Communication and prioritising are key in app development so everyone knows what’s to come next.

If you’re struggling with project scope and creep, let us help you. Our expert team can deliver enterprise apps to increase your team productivity and revenue, as a leading mobile app development agency based in Ireland. Contact us today for a free consultation session.