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Content scope creep is probably your fault

Written by: Lee Stacey

Published on: January 19, 2016

If you work in digital, you're probably more than familiar with the term 'scope creep'. Just in case you're not, I'll break it down for you: scope creep is when the scope of a project expands while you're working on it. Generally speaking, scope creep is unplanned free work. Nobody likes that. Not even the client.

Normally, project managers can spot the creep from a mile away but it’s a little harder when the creeping is happening within the content, well out of sight of the project manager.

To the content person out there reading this, I see you fist-pumping. It’s nice when someone feels your pain but here’s the thing: it’s your fault, so put your fist away. Now is not the time for celebrating. Now is the time to work out why this happens and what you can do to fix it. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad writer or designer, it probably means your processes are a little out of whack.

In my experience, scope creep within content is borne out of a poor brief. It usually comes about when your idea of what you should be doing is different from that of the client… So we CAN blame the client? Nope. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the brief says everything it needs to say. Cover every eventuality. Who is the audience? What are they there for? What is the point (or angle) of the content you’re creating? You probably know all this stuff already but if you’re anything like me, you need reminding from time to time.