Scope creep is the gradual expansion of project work without formal consideration and acceptance of these changes or their associated costs and effects. Scope creep can occur as a result of any of the following:

  • Lack of clarity and detail in the original description of project scope, objectives, and work

  • Willingness to modify a project without formal review and approval

  • Willingness to let people who don’t do the work associated with the changes decide whether to make changes

  • The feeling that you should never say “No” to a client

  • Personal pride that encourages you to believe you can do anything

Control scope creep by doing the following:

  • Include detailed descriptions of all project objectives in your plan.

  • Always assess the effect of requested changes on project products, schedules, and resources.

  • Share your true feelings about whether you can implement the requested changes.

  • Develop honest and open relationships with your clients so they’re more receptive when you raise issues associated with their requested changes.