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Gold Plating (oft confused with Scope Creep)

What is Gold Plating?

Gold plating is a project management term used to describe the process of adding extra features or functionality to a product or service beyond what was originally agreed upon. It is often confused with scope creep, which is when the scope of a project changes without any additional resources being allocated. Gold plating, on the other hand, involves additional resources being allocated in order to add extra features or functionality.

Gold plating can be beneficial if it adds value to the product or service and helps to meet customer needs. However, it can also be detrimental if it leads to delays in delivery, increased costs, and reduced quality. Therefore, it is important for project managers to carefully consider whether gold plating is necessary before allocating additional resources.

Causes of Gold Plating

Gold plating can occur for a variety of reasons. It may be due to a lack of communication between stakeholders, where one party has not been made aware of the original scope of the project. It may also be due to a desire by the project manager or team members to add extra features or functionality that they think will add value. Finally, it may be due to pressure from customers or other stakeholders who want more than what was originally agreed upon.

In order to prevent gold plating from occurring, it is important for project managers to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the original scope of the project and that any changes are discussed and agreed upon before additional resources are allocated.

Managing Gold Plating

If gold plating does occur, it is important for project managers to manage it effectively in order to minimize its impact on the project. This can involve discussing with stakeholders why gold plating has occurred and negotiating an agreement on how best to proceed. It may also involve re-allocating resources in order to accommodate the additional features or functionality.

It is also important for project managers to document any changes that have occurred as a result of gold plating so that they can be tracked and monitored throughout the duration of the project. This will help ensure that any additional costs or delays are minimized and that customer expectations are met.