What To Know About Gold Plating

Any project managers want their product to be better, to be great beyond the customers’ expectations. However, the additional functionalities sometimes seem to be unnecessary to the customers. In this article, let’s make it clearer and find ways to prevent it for good. 

Gold plating is a negative concept when the project is added changes beyond its scope plan, under the assumption that it will make the product better. For example, when meeting the customer’s requirements, the project manager decides to work further to boost the result, thinking it’ll make the customer astonishingly delighted. The customer, in reverse, turns out to be unpleasant and the extra effort might be wasteful. 


A Gold plating is considered bad due to the following reasons: 

  • New sources of risks: Because of its randomness, some problems are coming across the path that may be harmful to the previous process without proper change management. 

  • Delivering beyond the scope plan: With new ideas for changes and pushing the team to work on to earn credit without a detailed plan, you may confuse the team members. Besides, the team members, themselves, may also add extra functions to prove their ability. 

  • The demand for extra time, cost, effort, documentation and so on 

  • The performance to distract the customer from the project’s defects 

  • The possibility of a scope creep  

WHY GOLD PLATING HAPPENS: “Meet and Exceed Customer Expectations” mindset.  


  • Never allow your team members to add additions without a proper review. 

  • Have a good understanding of your customer expectations.

  • Establish open communication lines within your team. 

  • Set project rules and disciplines for the team. 

  • Stick to the project scope plan. 

  • Monitor the scope baseline in case of slippage.

  • Control and preview every change request.

  • Only implement the change when the authority approves it.

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