Historically at Softlanding, our very thoughtful consultants would at times aim to exceed customer expectations by adding extra bells and whistles, beyond the agreed to Scope of Work. Internally at Softlanding this is call 'value add'. In the Project Management World this is called 'Gold Plating'.
As our Project Management Office (PMO) has matured and evolved over the years, we have learned that there are many potential (mostly negative) consequences to the success of the project due to gold plating. Some of these consequences include:
- Increased Risks
- Increased Cost
- Scope creep beyond the gold plated tasks
- Mismanaged customer expectations
- Changed underlying infrastructure that was originally defined and agreed upon.
- Customer backlash. As stated above, gold plating is potentially giving the customer something that they may not ask for in the first place. They may request to remove all the bells and the whistles that were added which in turn would create even more work for the project team.
At Softlanding we strive to continuously improve our PMO. Now when we uncover opportunities to exceed customer expectations we carefully review the value add against overall project risks and benefits. This information is clearly documented and great efforts are made to manage customer expectations on the opportunity.