Hidden Project Changes: Ambiguous Requirements


Scope creep

This is the third post in a series about hidden project changes: things that affect scope but are easily overlooked. The topic for this post is ambiguous requirements.

One of the conditions for a waterfall project to succeed is comprehensive requirement specifications.

You supposedly plan the whole project in the beginning, during the planning phase. Anything that is not clearly stated, without room for interpretation, potentially leads to contract negotiations, which in turn might lead to a damaged relationship with the customer and - in the worst case - the project failing or being canceled altogether.

Even if the relationship with the customer is good and you argue that "there won't be a problem", it's better to be safe than sorry. Like with a prenup, you don't assume it will be used but it can still turn out to be a good idea.


If you can't agree on another contract such as phased development or variable scope/time, make sure thorough requirements are in place:

  • Review and discuss each requirement with the customer. Involve as many people as needed: technicians, domain experts, and so on.
  • Agree on a plan B if discussions arise regarding the interpretation of requirements.
  • Create a WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) to make sure everything is captured in the requirements.


  1. Just an fyi for you next time just put them in the oven! I dont fry anything anymore everything that is supposed to be fried gets baked and I actually like it better and its so much healthier for you...Just thought I would share that tip with you.....
    jogos io 2019
    friv Games play
    a10 games

  2. Yet while normal and understandable, this is also something that's addressable. (Not entirely fixable, of course, but at least addressable.) But facts aren't the way to do it -- simply getting better at announcing the who, what, where, and when of things won't really convey the flavor of this lively place. For that you need stories.
    kizi unblocked
    games online for kids