5 Ways to Get Away from Scope Creep

At Lamp, we pride ourselves on our ability to manage multi-million dollar building projects, keeping them on time, within budget, and with designated quality standards. This is especially important considering the potential on large construction projects for scope creep—where the original scope of the project increases, but budget, resources, and the schedule cannot keep up. We have put together tips to keep scope creep from happening, which we apply to facilitate all aspects of a large building project.

1. Communicate. One of the biggest contributors to scope creep is a poorly settled upon scope at the beginning of a project. Before a project begins, the project vision should be clear and equal for all parties involved, and priorities and expectations should be outlined. If everyone agrees on the end result, it’s much less likely to creep into something bigger. At Lamp, we offer a Design/Build system, which is regarded as the first choice in construction, primarily because of a “Single Source of Responsibility and Control.” This process offers our clients cost savings with no surprises, right from the initial planning phase. With our involvement in coordinating the architectural and engineering design of the project and overseeing all construction activities, your project will reach successful and efficient completion.

2. Expect and Plan for Changes. With budgets, timelines, and the inevitable unexpected, every project needs the proper accounting for special factors. As everyone in construction knows, Murphy’s Law will strike. When outlining the scope of a project, plan for surprises, prepare for changes, and most importantly, be flexible.

3. Use a Properly Trained Team. The team you use must be capable, knowledgable of the project, and able to coordinate effectively. At Lamp, we provide a properly trained and licensed work force who are committed to doing the work right the first time, efficiently, and safely. We also provide full time, on-site leadership while we are performing and coordinating all portions of the work who knows the project, scope, and will efficiently coordinate, as well as resolve conflicts or disputes.

4. Stay Organized through Excellent Documentation. Large construction projects have a lot of intricate moving parts, and changes throughout the project will be required. One of the biggest contributors to scope creep is ineffective management of changes. Project managers at Lamp Incorporated use a software program called ProCore. This program keeps track of all project documents involved, including change orders, submittals, requests for information, contracts, insurance, daily reports, meeting minutes and more. This system keeps the information organized and ensures all requests for information are answered, all change orders are processed and nothing slips through the cracks. This web-based system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and gives full access to all project information in an easy to understand format. ProCore is used to help many public entities in presentations to keep their constituents informed of progress.

5. Problem Solve with Accountability. Every construction project runs up against problems. The key to staying on top of a project is to meet them head on, make someone accountable to solve it, and follow through. At every project meeting at Lamp, minutes of the meeting are taken and distributed electronically within 48 hours. Each item from a meeting is assigned a number, a person who is responsible for providing a solution, and a deadline for that solution. We also monitor written communication and submittals through our shop drawing tracking software. Every submittal is logged into our project management software and tracked through every stage, until material has arrived on the project site. Monitoring both written and verbal communication will highlight any potential informational slowdowns, which might affect a project’s performance.

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