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4 tips to avoid scope creep in your business contracts

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Contract Disputes and Litigation |

Scope creep refers to the subtle, often unnoticed expansion of a project’s scope beyond its original parameters. This phenomenon can lead to significant consequences, including delayed timelines, increased costs and strained relationships between the parties involved.

There are a few key steps to protect your contracts and relationships from the effects of scope creep.

1. Clear definitions and objectives

Begin by meticulously defining the scope of work in your contract. Ambiguity is the breeding ground for scope creep. Clearly outline the project’s objectives, deliverables and timelines. By leaving no room for interpretation, you establish a solid foundation that helps prevent unwarranted expansions.

2. Robust change control procedures

Incorporate a comprehensive change control process into your contract. Changes are inevitable in the business landscape, but having a structured mechanism for evaluating and approving alterations to the project scope is essential. This not only keeps all parties on the same page but also helps in assessing the impact of changes on timelines and costs.

3. Consistent progress reviews

Maintain open lines of communication throughout the project. Regular progress reviews and updates enable stakeholders to stay informed and address any deviations from the original scope promptly.

Effective communication can act as a preemptive strike against scope creep. An estimated 65% of businesses surveyed are focusing on improving communication to protect the company’s contract integrity.

4. Comprehensive documentation

Document every aspect of the project, including discussions, decisions and any approved changes to the scope. This documentation serves as a reference point in case disputes arise.

Protect your company’s investments with a focus on clarity, communication and documentation for your contractual agreements. This can help you mitigate the risks associated with a changing project scope.