Scope Creep

Define: Project Scope:

The work that has to be done in order to create the product. The project scope is concerned with the work—and only the required work—to complete the project.

Define: (Project) Scope Creep:

Scope creep (also called focus creep, requirement creep, feature creep, function creep) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope.


The current project I am involved in at work is currently going through this. I have spent a few years during High School and University about what Scope Creep is and how to prevent it.

However, I am starting to believe that what we learn in High School and/or University (and other educational institutes) are only good on paper and only great for exam papers.

Yes, we know it’s bad.. yes we “know” how to “prevent” scope creep but the reality is that it will still happen.

When I chat to co-workers about it, they just chuckle and say something like:

Yep. Sounds like most projects.

Being so directly involved in this project.. this worries me a bit – what will happen if I have to re-write the Business Requirements and by the end of the project we miss the deadline?

Good learning experience I suppose. I think what went wrong this time was that we didn’t initially capture the stakeholder requirements properly.

Hopefully these project methodologies and processes will be much more well known and defined in the future.

If everyone knows about these concepts, then it should reduce problems during projects, right?


P.S. Nice work Yen-Hsun Lu for beating Andy Roddick and making it through to the Quarter Finals @ Wimbledon; bad luck against Novak Djokovic.


6 thoughts on “Scope Creep

  1. yihong says:

    well, good thing is, if its scope creep, you will have more work and get paid too!!
    win win situation! For you 😛

    • sukari89 says:

      lol I don’t think that’s the best way to see it..

      I mean you risk the project blowing up in your face too.

  2. Rowan says:

    I don’t know what your project is about or how big it is but if stakeholders are bombarding you with requirements constantly, what I found useful is a change control/config management procedure where they are required to formally justify and go through alot of approvals to get it done. Just to make it a little bit more difficult.

    But then again if the scope was inadequate in the first place then thats a mute point lol.

    Let me know how it goes though, very interested in knowing how it turns out.

  3. I think scope creep is the reason for a lot of projects to fail or go massively over budget – the Sydney Opera House is a good example. There they didn’t even know what the scope was when they started the project and ended up massively late and over budget.

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