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This is all valid and good advise, but there's another option, too, which should not be overlooked. That is to cut scope creep off at the pass. Hit it as early as possible, before expectations are set and estimates are made. The way to do that is to deeply understand your client (internal or external, whatever) and your client's goals. Don't let someone hand you a spec or a list of feature requirements without understanding what is behind them. This is an incredibly important and worthwhile investment of time.

If you understand what your client is ultimately wanting to achieving, you will see (much of) the scope creep before they do. Also, and perhaps more importantly, if you cannot understand what they ultimately want (not what software or features they want, but what results they want), then there are several potential problems awaiting you. Not the least of which is potential miscommunication and the need for late course correction (which often programmers incorrectly call "scope creep", but is frankly their own misunderstandings coming out late). But perhaps the greatest danger of failing to understand the ultimate needs of your clients is this: If you do not really understand what they ultimately want out of the project, then you don't know whether they really understand what they want. And a client who doesn't really understand why (s)he wants something is one of the surest ways to an unsuccessful project and tons of scope creep.

But definitely not a contradiction to your points, just an addition for the record.

------------ :Wq Not an editor command: Wq

In reply to Re^3: Improving Your Ability to Estimate by etcshadow
in thread Improving Your Ability to Estimate by dws

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