Scope Creep



Scope Creep

Businesses that perform services or carry out projects for clients generally come to an agreement with their clients about the extent or scope of a project before beginning the project. However, as a project progresses, clients may ask for more than the business originally expected to provide, and the scope of the project may grow larger than intended. This phenomenon is known as scope creep, and it can cause conflict between businesses and their clients. Scope creep is especially common when the terms or conditions of the initial agreement are not clearly defined, and a client may expect more than the business had planned to provide.

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    <-NARRATOR:-> Now listen to part of a lecture in a business class.
    <-MALE PROFESSOR:-> OK, so, for example,
    I have a friend who owns a company that does construction.
    His company is often hired to make improvements to someone's house or yard.
    So recently this woman hired him to build a fence around her yard.
    She said she wanted a wooden fence running all the way around her backyard.
    She and my friend quickly settled on a price for the job.
    They basically just made a verbal agreement about the work that would be done
    without putting any of the agreement in writing.
    And so my friend got to work building the fence.
    So when my friend was almost finished building the fence around the woman's yard,
    the woman told my friend that she wanted the fence painted white.
    My friend was surprised by this, because he did not think that he had been hired to also paint the fence.
    He told the woman this¡ªthat he had just been hired to build the fence, not paint it.
    But the woman said she thought when she hired him to build the fence that this also meant the fence would be painted.
    They ended up arguing and eventually my friend finally agreed to paint the fence without charging extra, just to be nice,
    but he wasn't happy about it.


Explain how the example in the lecture illustrates the concept of scope creep.


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