Project “creep” is the phenomenon in which the size and scope of a project gradually grows, and often exceeds, what was originally planned for. As multimedia expert Tay Vaughn writes in his text, Multimedia: Making it Work, “if you don’t clearly delineate the features and specifications of the project expected by your client, you will be tempted to add features, enhancements and improvements” (2015). Predictably, this leads to overages in resources, including budget and timeline.
Despite reading these words last spring, and receiving a similar warning from one of my own professors in Instructional Design just a few months ago, I now find myself deep in project creep for the online course I am currently developing. In attempting to incorporate more varied multimedia elements, interactivity, and new and emerging technologies into my course, I have set myself down a path of course development where I likely have too much to do for the time I have left.
With that being said…I will finish on time, because I must finish on time. This project is worth nearly 1/3 of my final grade in the class I am producing it for, so failure to complete is not an option. Furthermore, the course I am developing is a major component of the portfolio I will assemble to both graduate and find employment in the field of instructional design. The stakes are high, so I will do what I must: late nights, early mornings, vacation days from my current job…whatever it takes. I will finish on time and produce a high-quality course because that I what I must do. No excuses.
Moving forward, however, I must develop better planning and time management skills if I am to be successful in my new career. In a blog post from August 1st entitled “Designing Instruction”, I identified several skills necessary to be a professional in the field of instructional design. One of these skills, as I wrote then, is that instructional designers must be skilled project managers; they must be able to stay on time and on budget, facilitate effective communication between the client, oneself, and other team members, and solve problems as they (inevitably) arise. As I finish this semester and enter what should be my final 3 courses in the degree program I am completing, I must make project time management a priority.
Vaughan, T. (2015). Multimedia: Making It Work. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.