Conscious Project Creep

By Jamie McSloy / April 22, 2018
conscious project creep featured image

The Scope Of A Project

Let’s talk about project scope, creep and development.

IF you have a large project, then it’s inevitable that your goals and objectives for the project will change over time.

For instance, if you’re into fitness, you’ll probably move from “looking good is the primary objective” to “staying healthy as I get older is the primary objective.”

Or, in business, you might want to earn enough to keep yourself afloat and then you’ll gradually want more stuff or to move to a nicer place or some such.

Understand that this is perfectly natural and optimal. Plenty of people get stuck in ruts because they get into the habit of doing just enough to stay at the level they’re at, or because they reach a goal and then don’t know where to go next.

So project scope continually changes, and project creep is a reality beyond even the simplest and most short term projects.

The kicker is that you have to consciously create these things.

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You Must Control Project Scope


Whenever you’re deciding where to go next with a project, you walk a fine line.

If you stick with the same goal, same objectives and same execution, then eventually your project will cease to be useful, stagnate and ultimately end.

Let’s take a personal example: weightlifting.

Let’s say you’re a weakling who wants to turn into a super-buff bodybuilder.

If you’re smart, you won’t look at what a powerlifter does, and you’ll start in the shallow end of the pool instead.

Let’s say you grab a 5kg dumbbell set and you curl those.

After a few weeks, your arms get a little bigger and you find it a lot easier to curl those weights.

You then have a choice – do you keep doing the same thing, or do you do something else?

If you keep doing the same thing, you won’t get any more results. In fact, you might even regress a little as you aren’t challenging yourself.

This will lead to you getting bored, dissuaded from weightlifting and ultimately quitting. Even if you stick at it, you will gain no benefit.

So you need to go somewhere at all times.

You increase the weight or you move on to a harder exercise.

On the other hand, let’s talk about business for the other end of the spectrum.

Let’s say you are a freelance writer with some web skills. There’s a world of opportunity out there. You can start an agency or build websites or write books or simply end up with ever-increasingly rich clients.

If you try to do too much, you will be directionless and if you’re directionless, don’t be surprised when you don’t end up anywhere.

Walk The Line

The only way to walk the line correctly is to have periods of introspection and planning, and constantly work towards a particular goal.

You could break this down into a very base operation. Each activity you do should tie in to the “greater goal” somehow, but in reality, you probably won’t do this.

That said, if you’re aimlessly looking on a particular thing and you don’t know how it is getting you closer to your goal, then you should probably stop doing it or at least re-evaluate what you’re getting from it.