All About Scope Creep: Definition, Causes, and How to Overcome It!

By Meidiana Apriliani | Published On: 24 August 2021
All About Scope Creep: Definition, Causes, and How to Overcome It!

Just imagine this situation: your project is already running at 50% and suddenly the client asks for additions and changes to product functionality that are far from the initial requirements or the development team that is close to completing the backlog according to the project manager’s instructions but turns out the requirements have not been approved by the client.

Tomps friends, the above situation often occurs in a project and is generally referred to as scope creep. This very difficult problem for the project manager and the team as a whole can occur when a project experiences ambiguity in the scope of work and the actual goals to be achieved.

No matter how well a team handles a project, this scope creep problem can become a “cancer” that destroys the entire project timeline and other elements when not anticipated properly from the start.

What is Scope Creep?

According to the PMBOK® Guide, the definition of scope creep is adding features and functionality (project scope) without addressing the effects on time, costs, and resources, or without customer approval Scope in the project itself can be interpreted in 2 types, namely product scope and project scope.

According to PMI, project scope is the work required to output a project’s deliverable. Meanwhile, product scope is the features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result.

Changes to projects are often unavoidable, as are the opportunities for scope creep to occur. For this reason, handling project scope within a project is very challenging. Scope creep itself is not only defined as a problem that arises because a stakeholder proposes a new requirement or a change in it. 

The real key to the problem is “Has the changes that occurred have been mutually agreed by all parties?”. Because, if changes to the project scope have been approved and have been clearly agreed upon, then this change in project scope cannot be called scope creep.

What is Scope Creep’s Impact on the Project?

Scope creep can obviously bring a lot of bad impacts or losses for both parties, namely the developer team and the client. By working on a task whose requirements have not been approved by all parties, the project team is wasting time on work that is clearly unwanted.

In addition, other scopes creep impacts are:

  1. Wasting project time and resources on unapproved changes
  2. Time and resources allocated to the approved project scope are reduced
  3. Missed deadlines and pending projects
  4. The workload is much heavier than estimated
  5. The budget spent could be bigger
  6. The final result does not match the project scope
  7. Demotivated project team
  8. Disappointed clients and stakeholders

What Causes Scope Creep?

1. Ambiguous Project Scope Description

If your project has a scope description that is ambiguous or unclear, then the possibility that you and your stakeholders have different interpretations can be wide open. As a result, each will have a different understanding of the scope of this project scope so either party can request a change if they see a different result than what was previously thought.

This ambiguous project scope can occur due to a lack of detailed information or due to poor communication. Therefore, it is important to specify the project scope in detail in the project charter (a document issued by the project owner that officially certifies the existence of the project, and gives the project manager the authority to apply organizational resources to the project) at the planning and initiation stages.

2. Poorly Managed Requirements

Most projects have a number of requirements that continue to grow as the project progresses. This then often leads to the entry and exit of requirements that are aware or not that have deviated. Without a clear decision-making authority, it will be difficult to determine whether the incoming or outgoing requirements are indeed in accordance with the agreed project scope.

3. Lack of Project Stakeholder Involvement

Project stakeholders often have a bunch of other activities outside of your project. Like other workers, they may have multiple jobs and not realize they are not “involved” in your project. This will then get worse when the communication that you build with them is not intense and routine. As a result, stakeholders can miss important things or changes that occur during the project and this can be dangerous if their perception is different from yours.

4. Long Project Duration

The longer a project is, the more likely it is that scope creep will occur. With a large project scope and a long project schedule, this opens the door for more project scopes and product scopes to be developed.

The Best Way To Overcome Scope Creep With Tomps!

One of the best ways to avoid scope creep is to make the entire process in your project more transparent and controlled. From the planning, initiation, execution, to closing stages. For that, Tomps Project Management Software is here as the best answer for you.

Tomps comes with many smart project management features that help you manage projects end-to-end. From the initiation stage to closing. Some of these features include:

✔ Project Scheduling, Planner, and Completion

✔ Project Tracking 

✔ Project Cost

✔ Project Appraisal

✔ Document & Evidence Repository

✔ Unlimited Cloud

✔ Role Access Management

✔ Vendors Performance Report

✔ Automatic Project Reports

✔ Gantt Chart & S-Curve

✔ Geo-Map Tagging & Visualization

✔ API Integration

✔ Customization-Friendly

How Can Tomps Help Your Project?


Monitor project progress charts and real-time reports

Tomps provides an all-in-one Dashboard feature so you can quickly see a summary report of your entire project. Starting from Project Dashboard, Finance Dashboard, BAST Dashboard, Appraisal Dashboard, Project Cost Dashboard, to Online User. All the latest information on your project will be neatly arranged in attractive and informative charts and graphic curves.


Do project planning, controlling, and monitoring easily!

You can also plan the details of the work project according to the desired time with the project implementer. Set project parameters and invite stakeholders to collaborate on projects in Tomps system. In it, you can also create a project due date according to the planned deadline.

After the project details have been created, now you can easily do project controlling and project tracking. Teams in the field will easily report up-to-date work along with evidence from the field in end-to-end, real-time, and on-cloud systems.

The team will also easily see the schedule and details of the next work on the projects they are managed. Not only that, you can also track the status of the project whether it is currently in the initial, in-progress, or closing stages. All this work can also be done via Tomps mobile app. Feel the ease of monitoring project progress in one click!


Get detailed and transparent project data reports automatically

Often confused with complicated and a lot of data reporting? Don’t worry, now you can easily report project progress with Tomps!

Through Tomps, you will find it easy to compile and view reviews and reports of current projects. Tomps’s smart project management system provides various types of reports that you and your stakeholders need.

Starting from the General Report, Summary Report, Project Team Performance, PO Report, Issue Report, Gantt Chart, to S-Curve. Everything will be automatically created by the system in real-time and transparently according to what is happening in the field. So, you don’t need to bother preparing daily, weekly, or monthly reports manually!


Full control of the project budget in your hands!

Tomps’s Project Cost feature can minimize the opportunities for fraud to cost-overrun in projects. Make budget planning and control budget absorption along with detailed evidence. The Geo-Maps feature allows you to find out the accurate location where the evidence is uploaded to the system, so that the project can run more transparently, effectively, and efficiently.


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