February 1, 2021 Jo

Scope Creeps and How to Deal With Them

Scope creeps: You’re meant to spend 30 minutes on a minor task, it’s not within your area of expertise but it seems like a quick and easy job. So you have a got at it and suddenly it’s been three hours and you’re pulling the hair out of your head. Cue: stress, irritation and backlogs galore.

I just spent way too long on video editing, when I meant to just dip in and organize a little bit. Scope creeps are some of my absolute pet peeves. But luckily, there is a way out. So here is how you can deal with it:

  1. You get it to a stopping point. When it was meant to take 30 minutes but you’re nowhere near done after 25? Time to stop and take a breather. There are only so many hours in a day. Other tasks are waiting. If you have been fiddling with something for nearly 30 minutes and you still are nowhere close to completing it, it might just be a waste of time. So put that task down.
  2. You note what needs to happen next and then you do a little reflection.
    Look at the ROI. Are you really needed for this? You probably have a lot to do today, your time is valuable and your skills are obviously limited (sorry!) Spending too much time on a task that takes forever and far removed from your actual calling is just not worth it. While it’s possible to learn new skills at any age, there is a time and a place for that and right now, you need to focus on what’s important.
  3. If you come to the conclusion that you’re not the man or woman for the job, the next action in that domain is to look for a person more fitting for the job. In my case, I need a video editor so that I don’t go back in and have that happen again.

To Avoid Scope Creeps: Delegate and barter

We really need to learn from our mistakes. Don’t we? So if you have a scope creep that takes a ridiculous amount of time: Delegate.

Now, there are a couple of issues surrounding delegation: It might cost money or time to source someone or pay for their labour and time. Well, the good news is that I’ve got the sources. Send me an email and I will share my list of competent people to work with. If your business is new and your budget doesn’t allow that right now, it’s time to think about bartering. Or it’s time to think about giving scholarships, setting up internships or asking favours from friends.

There are so many ways of working through this until you get more cash coming in to create a team. This started with scope creep and then it grew to talk about teams. It is just part of how to handle your scope creep. You really have to find more bodies because you can’t do it all and you shouldn’t.

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