How can I tactfully talk to a CFO about preventing scope creeping? Is closed as off-topic, with the comments stating that this 'can only belong' on Workplace.SE:

This question is more appropriate for Workplace SE. In fact, it's already been answered many, many times over. Just search the site. How to manage expectations, requirements, etc. – AndreiROM 19 hours ago

Or that it isn't an IPS question at all:

This doesn't seem like IPS problem, bosses feature creep because they can get more work for the same money that way, not because of some interpersonal issues – Maxim 16 hours ago

We have several meta posts stating that just because a question is on-topic for another site, it shouldn't necessarily be off-topic here:

I asked the OP in the comments if they were specifically looking for an IPS solution, and this was confirmed:

@Tinkeringbell Yes, I'm looking for how to deal with his requests and how to not just say "I'm busy, go away" sort of dealie. To escalate, I'd need to go to the CEO, and although I know that everyone has spoken about this, the CEO is also guilty of it. I don't really know how to tell him that there's other projects I need to work on before I can make his changes. – Anoplexian 18 hours ago

In my opinion, "How can I tactfully talk to a CFO about preventing scope creeping from someone in an executive position without losing my job?" is a very legit, interpersonal question. Just because it focuses on interactions in the workplace, doesn't mean it's supposed to off-topic here?

We have one IPS.SE meta post, where the most-upvoted answer states the question isn't on-topic for IPS because:

an IPS approach appears to me to be by far too slow. Lives are potentially at stake (it's about boating safety) and the OP's supervisor's feelings or opinions do not matter at all.

That's definitely not the case here, there are no lives at risk...

On the other hand, we have:

The general consensus here seems to be that just because a question involves an interaction taking place in a workplace, it doesn't mean it is necessarily off-topic.

If there is anything still 'wrong' with this question, which makes it unsuitable for IPS.SE, what is it? There is not much feedback in the comments for the OP to work on. If this is off-topic, why? Has our line for questions regarding IPS skills in the workplace shifted since this meta?

  • 2
    Voted to reopen the question. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 13:58
  • The fact that it has been answered in Workplace only provides a greater reason for it to be asked in IPS. The workplace angle has been covered, we want the interpersonal angle now.
    – user3316
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


Posting to fill out the discussion here somewhat :) I had voted to close because it originally sounded like it was entirely a workplace issue. I had read the question as:

How can I stop the CFO from giving me more work?

If you want your boss's boss to stop giving you more work, the solution is going to be "here's the proper workplace procedure to follow", not "here's how to ask him nicely to stop it". He's your boss's boss, you don't get to call the shots... Plus, the OP specifically said in the question:

I cannot tell him "Sorry, I'm working on something else right now, I can get to your item when I'm finished".

If you can't talk to him, and can't escalate the issue, then how do interpersonal skills matter here? So, VTC.

However, the update helped:

I don't really know how to tell him that there's other projects I need to work on before I can make his changes and am really looking to speak with him about it in a way he not only understands, but that doesn't run the risk of me sounding rude or dismissive of his project.

This spins the question to be more like:

How do I explain that I am juggling a lot of other high-priority tasks to the CFO, who doesn't seem to be aware?

Figuring out how to have that conversation does make sense as an interpersonal skills question.


The question has now been reopened.

According to our discussion in:

Should workplace related questions involving communication be on-topic?

Where do we draw a line for Workplace questions?

This question is not off-topic. Furthermore, the OP has explicitly asked to approach this from IPS side.

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