Maximizing efficiency: How to avoid gold plating in project management



Project management is not easy as it involves multiple things like research, risk, planning, controlling, cooperation, staffing, and more. However, when things go wrong and you cannot provide a complete project service to your client, you can rely on Gold Plating.

With that, you can make possible changes to the project management process to avoid delays in project deliveries. In this write-up, we will thoroughly discuss Gold Plating. Also, why it occurs and strategies to avoid it.

What is Gold Plating in Project Management?

Usually, Gold Plating is a stage where project managers, team leaders or members add extra features despite the existing project conditions. Clients can count it as their free-of-cost advantage or perks. However, Gold Plating in Project Management can negatively affect your management. It involves:

  • Increasing the project completion deadlines.
  • Making your client unhappy with the project changes and deliveries.
  • Money, time and energy are wasted when the client doesn’t want any extra features.

But, you will see many good results with the help of this Gold Plating in your Project Management. Take a look at them below.

  • Taking care of clients’ requirements and their concerns about the freebies.
  • Getting acknowledgement and recognition for specific tasks.
  • Misunderstanding the project requirements but the extra features may enhance the deliverability of your project.
  • It is a great choice to hide drawbacks in the project deliveries.

However, Gold Plating can be an excellent choice to grab the client’s attention in a few cases. It has two possibilities: a client can be happy with your additions or disappointed with your work. So, whenever you work on the project, work wisely to avoid the requirement of Gold Plating in your project management and deliveries. Let’s understand it with an example below.

What is an Example of Gold Plating?

Gold Plating might be an advantage and disadvantage to your project activities depending on the client’s responses.

For example, suppose your client has provided a project with all the requirements, essentials, and deadlines. In this entire session, you can ask your team members about ideas to complete it for more suitable project deliveries. After that, you can finalise the strategies and commence your project completion activities with those strategies.

But, sometimes, things go differently than planned, and you must make changes. It is mainly because of improper research, workforce and instant deadlines that may fumble you and affect your activities. Therefore, Gold Plating appears there to help you in project management.

You can allow your team member to add changes without giving an idea about it to the client, which comes under Gold Plating. But this is against the Project Management Professionals (PMP). You should get permission from the client to apply any changes to their projects by explaining the entire issue to the situation you are facing.

In addition, explaining what you are willing to change in their projects and how it will benefit them is the correct step to take for your healthy business relations. Once the client understands and agrees with your suggestions, you can make the changes or move forward according to the further suggestions provided by your client.

Effects of Gold Plating on Project Management

After your clients provide the green signal to Gold Plating, remember that these can affect a lot of things. However, you need to increase the project costs and give time and energy to complete the project using Gold Plating methods. Let’s discuss the effects of this Gold Plating below.

  • It increases the risk factor in the project because of your additions, which may or may not be favoured by the client.
  • If the client likes your creativity in the project, he can ask for the same in his further projects. The client can ask for the same creativity for future projects, which can increase your project costs or activities.
  • In the same way, presume your intention is good behind the Gold Plating. However, he may only accept changes if they suit client requirements and parameters. Also, there is a possibility that he can ask to make changes again.

This entire process will take time, and you may need extra spend more on a single project. As a result, this might be a bad idea for your project management and deliveries. So, we have gathered the best tips to avoid it below.

How to avoid Gold Plating?

The project activities depend on smooth communication, directions, planning and control over the activities. But the projects cannot be as fruitful as you think due to the lack of such vital things, which leads to Gold Plating. Therefore, we need to take some precautions to avoid it and smooth business relations with clients.

  • Ask your client about the project scope, requirements and other details, and listen to them wisely. You can ask them to provide a written layout of the client’s requirements to avoid further clashes.
  • If you are a project leader or manager, ensure your team follows your clients’ guidelines and the strategies you have discussed to accomplish the project requirements. Similarly, keep motivating your teammates to avoid their track distractions.
  • Ensure you are clear with your clients and team members about the project requirements and steps to consider to fulfil the client requirements.
  • Whatever project requirements your client provides you, focus on fulfilling those conditions to avoid later Gold Plating. Besides, take all the updated results of your team members about the project activities and see whether they need any further help.

In short, following the written requirements of the client is all you need to do to avoid Gold Plating. However, you can give your ideas to the client about the project and ask them to add them. This way, you can easily create a harmonious relationship between the organisation and your clients by making them happy with your project completion.

Is Gold Plating beneficial for your Project Management?

No! Gold Plating is all about making changes to the project despite the client’s requirements and permissions. You can make changes to the project without asking a client. But, if he dislikes the changes, he asks you to do the project as per his requirements. It will take your time, energy and money to work on the project again.

However, when you add extra features to the projects, some clients can like those additions. Still, it is not a good choice because it needs extra money, time and energy. This repetitiveness can expand the project deadlines.


A project can be completed within the stipulated period with a proper schedule and the cooperation of the team members. However, the project managers must repair it when something wrong happens with the project management and completion process.

It is when you, as a project manager, can rely on the Gold Plating. However, Gold Plating requires time, money and specific change plans if required. Once you are ready, you can apply it in your project management and completion process.

So, get all ideas about the Gold Plating in the above write-up and fix if your project needs to be going on according to client requirements.


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