Do you like chocolate? I sure do love chocolate. Sometimes I can’t resist that extra piece. Other times I just crave it and can’t get it out of my head. If you have been to one of my courses or talks, you know I reward participation with chocolate bars. Everyone seems to like them too. So, I am not alone.
Well recently, I have come across something that is very similar and almost as satisfying. “What is it?”- you ask. Well, it is Scope Creep. I looked up the definition of scope creep and this is what I found:
- “Scope creep is when a project’s requirements and deliverables stretch beyond the initial vision.”
- “Adding additional features or functions of a new product, requirements, or work that is not authorized.”
In these definitions and many schools of thought, scope creep is bad, but is it really?
You might know what I mean. Have you ever used someone else’s spreadsheet and thought- “this would be really cool if ___________”. You fill in the blank. Or if you are like me, you may have even added it. Or have you worked with Visual and thought- “if a button was added to do something that would be extra helpful”. Think about all the places with Excel buttons in Visual that didn’t exist in earlier versions. You may have had some ideas for these enhancements and may have even submitted an enhancement request.
Let me tell you about one of my experiences. We have been working with a programmer creating a cool tool to help with reconciling inventory in Visual ERP. The initial design started based on automating some time-consuming but powerful inventory reconciliation techniques. The initial design had two key windows. These windows were full of information but many times we would jump back into Visual to find more data.
I have to admit, the tool was making me a little lazy since it was so easy to use. I thought- “well this is silly”. Let’s add more stuff into our cool tool, which is called Inventory Deep Dive Reconciliation Tool. One of my favorites is the quick reconciliation which compares the Inventory Balance to the General Ledger (GL). No longer is it necessary to download the Inventory Balance report, key in the GL balances and calculate the differences for each GL account. Click the button and you have the answer in seconds.
Then instead of being lazy, I went directly to crazy and started adding more things. I was the kid in the candy shop. I wanted more. But I wasn’t alone. When working with others on the tool, they would say “Gee – it would be really helpful if you added an extra column here, a total there or some more drill down functionality”. It turns out I am not the only one who “wants more”. There are at least 15 more buttons to choose from plus many enhancements.
Scope creek is like chocolate. It is satisfying, fulfilling and so much fun. Is this a bad thing? I think not.