How to Handle Scope Creep in the Middle Of The Project

Scope creep should not be handled in the middle of a project or anywhere else. Scope creep, as it is defined, refers to uncontrolled growth or change in a project. This happens when the project was not properly defined, documented, and controlled. The plan must be documented and include a schedule. All stakeholders must agree to it at the beginning of the project. A formal change control process must also be established. You can be sure that change will occur. It is how you manage that change that is most important. Every request for change must be reviewed and approved by key stakeholders. The change request must contain a description of the new scope, additional resources, and a schedule. It is not creep, it is part of the plan. The project manager should identify the risk and outline mitigation strategies.
You should first determine if the change is real or implicit. Then, follow the Project Change Management Process.
Here are two important rules to remember
Scope is bound by cost: Any scope change will have an impact on the project cost. If you add new scope to the budget without increasing it, be prepared to justify it.
Reduce the chain of pain: Scope adjustments can have an adverse effect on other parameters. Too many changes can lead to the project manager being fired.
If the supplier admits that a clarification should have been included, the stakeholders must still agree on the impact. If the client insists that “new functionality/requirements” must be included then the impacts (including cost) must be agreed.
It is normal and healthy to be asked to evaluate changes during the execution phase. It is important to have a Change Management Plan in place to help you manage it objectively. This Change Management Plan/Process must be established at the beginning of each project. An example sequence of events would be:
A Change Request (to assess impact) is issued
The team assesses the impact and presents it to the CAB (Change Advisory Board).
Acceptance or rejection of a Change Request
If approved, the requested change is included in the scope and project plans
Requests for changes must be evaluated (cost, schedule, resources, and risk), and presented to decision makers and sponsors. If the impact is acceptable, the change request should be approved. The revised scope and project plan should be updated accordingly. Scope creep is when a scope change was made without evaluating the impact. The project team is still expected to adhere to the original cost projection and schedule. This is a very undesirable outcome in a well-managed project. However, it should be included in the Change Request Management Plan. The best way to avoid scope creep is to stay within the scope but be open to changing requirements through Change Request Management.
Scope creep can be caused by stakeholders always wanting more in a project. It is best to assess the change, estimate the effort and cost, and then let stakeholders decide whether or not to include it. The project manager must also highlight the risks to the schedule as well as the cost. If scope is crucial to the success of your project, you should bring it up in the right forum. Then follow the change management process to include it.