What is Gold Plating in Project Management?

In project management, gold plating means adding more abilities or  specific capabilities or services to a project than needed to meet the requirements. It is indeeed one of the crucial definitions in scope management. Addindg more abilities or capabilities for sure may sound like a good idea at first but unfortunately it can actually harm the project's success.

Gold plating can have several negative consequences for the project.  First of all by adding unnecessary features or functionality, the project team is using resources that could be better used elsewhere. This generally leads to increased costs and delays in project delivery.

Secondly gold plating can be the root cause of scope creep. Scope creep is when a project's scope gradually expands beyond the original plan. It can cause problems in project management. By adding extra features or functionality without stakeholder approval project teams are expanding the project's scope. This can lead to delays, increased costs and decreased chances of meeting project objectives.

Thirdly gold plating can reduce the project's overall quality. By diverting resources away from essential components of the project, the team may not produce high quality project deliverables, which can ultimately lead to project failure.

When it comes to gold plating in project management I have some mixed feelings. On one hand, I can understand the desire to add extra features or functionality to a project even if they weren't part of the original scope. It can be tempting to want to deliver something that goes above and beyond what was expected and make your client or boss really happy.

However, I also think that gold plating can be problematic. It can add unnecessary complexity, increase costs and delay the project timeline. Plus, if the additional features or functionality aren't really needed or wanted by the client or end user, then all that extra work might just go to waste.

To Avoid Gold Plating

To avoid gold plating project teams should focus on the project's objectives and requirements. They should communicate clearly with stakeholders to ensure everyone understands the project's scope and objectives. Additionally project managers should establish clear criteria for approving changes to the project's scope or requirements to prevent scope creep.

Gold plating is a common problem in project management that can cause increased costs, longer timelines and decreased quality. By focusing on the project's objectives and requirements and communicating clearly with stakeholders project teams can avoid gold plating and increase the chances of project success.

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