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The Business in Being a Bachelorette: Scope Creep

(For the first post of this series, which goes through the Discovery Phase, click here!)

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second installment of The Business in Being a Bachelorette! Today's post is going to go through the relationship that exists between wedding planning and a frustrating business concept known as scope creep. So, without further ado...lets dive in!

Sometimes the most common definition of a term can get a bit confusing if you're new to the field, so let's break down this concept together shall we? As defined by Chris Adams in his post on the topic (Modern Analyst), scope creep can be defined as "when additional features are slipped into a project after the project scope is defined and the project has started". From an outsider perspective, this definition may seem a bit complex so let me clarify a bit.

In the simplest terms possible, this concept occurs when the size of a business change is altered or increased. When you begin any project, it is essential to thoroughly "vet" (explore) as many details as possible during the beginning stages. You want to do your best to expand your knowledge of the requirements needed for this specific venture, so you don't waste money. Unfortunately, it is almost guaranteed that you will run into a factor that you have not considered despite how long you ponder over the possibilities, which is where scope creep enters the picture.

To better understand the technicalities of this idea, lets dive into the business side of things before using wedding planning to connect the dots.

To kick things off, we will discuss why scope creep may pose an issue while working on a specific project in the business world. Once again, as you map out all of the requirements that will outline your project, you are almost definitely going to overlook certain details (don't fret, this is normal!). But despite how common this may be when pursuing any business venture, it is important to understand how to accommodate for these factors in order to get back on track. Two major reasons for this may include:

  • Small things quickly adding up - forgetting minor details is normal and often easy to fix, but when you make a series of small mistakes, it can turn into a major issue that is difficult to mend.

  • Going far beyond an allotted budget - for any business venture, you will be limited by some kind of financial burden. If you fail to account for too many details, you are likely to exceed your monetary limits which can throw a wrench in your plans.

With this in mind, you may be thinking, "how can I avoid this issue?". The answer to that question isn't a straightforward one, though; completely evading the irritation that is scope creep may not be entirely possible depending on what your project looks like. However, the best way to combat the problem is to prioritize your requirements—make sure that as you go through the steps of your project, you focus on what is necessary for success rather than getting caught up in the little details.

Now, how does this frustrating business-related occurrence relate to weddings? The easiest way to use this concept as a bridge between wedding planning and business analysis can be seen in the use of a budget.

Obviously, creating financial boundaries is essential in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle no matter what part of our lives we are considering. We find ourselves constantly asking money-related questions such as, "how much have I saved?" or "how much do I have to spend?". These are the same ideas one will ponder over in any project related to business, as well as aspects that come along with planning a wedding ceremony.

When considering my own wedding, there have been several aspects of the process that have led to scope creep and/or financial alterations. One prime example can be seen when attending a wedding expo: when you attend one of these events, you are surrounded by vendors and temptations that cause you to rethink your original plan and, in many cases, increase your budget. All of the caterers, venues, decorations, etc. add to how much money is needed to carry out an organized ceremony, and as you continue to set your plan, these temptations often cause changes in an otherwise solidified course of action.

To explain this idea further, I will get a little personal with you guys and break down my actual experience with budgeting a ceremony:

  • My fiancée and I allotted $10,000 for the entire ceremony at the start, which is actually not that much when considering the average cost of a modern wedding.

  • We then put down a $1000 deposit on a venue that will in total run us close to $6500. The venue includes bar service, but that still leaves many expenses, including catering, photography, a wedding cake, and resizing a ring my grandmother left me in her will.

  • This means we would be left with only $3,500 for all other services, which, in order to not have to sacrifice quality, leads to a necessary change in our set financial boundaries.

The occurrence of scope creep is a dangerously common one in many parts of one's life, which is why it is so important to understand the need for keeping it in consideration as well as attempting to prioritize tasks as much as possible.

Keep up with our latest posts so you don't miss the next part of the series!

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