When a project fails to be properly defined, planned or documented, something called scope creep can occur. This should be avoided if possible as it can lead to uncontrolled growth of the project. To understand scope creep, in this article, we will take a look at a scope creep case study, some project scope creep example and how Sinnaps project management software can help you to mitigate scope creep from your projects.


scope creep


Scope Creep


Scope creep which is also referred to as requirement creep essentially describes how a project’s requirements can increase during its life-cycle. It may be a project centred around developing a project that first had only two essential features, but now needs to have seven. Another scope creep example is when the needs of the client change. Scope creep risk mitigation techniques are important to understand as scope creep needs to be managed carefully. In this way, you can create an effective Project Management Approach.

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Scope Creep Examples


If you are wondering how to handle scope creep, a good place to start is understanding where it originates. Let’s take a look at some famous examples of scope creep and Scope of Work Templates:

  • Lack of change control: An example of lack of change control would be if you are carrying out a project centred around designing a new product and your client has changes they wish to make to their requirements, neither you as the project manager or your project team would know how to deal with the change needed or where to start in terms of implementing it into the project plan.
  • Not understanding how project objectives will be met: If you are involved in a marketing campaign project, for example, and you fail to plan carefully the various tasks that need to be completed as part of the project, then when you begin working on the project these unplanned for tasks will pop up and throw the course of your project off.
  • Poor communication: If you are completing program development for a client and you fail to communicate effectively with them throughout the course of the project, what could result is various misinterpretations of what is required and a program that is unsuitable to their requests. Dealing with scope creep in this example could prove very difficult. Always keep communication lines open and consistent with clients and stakeholders.
  • Not saying no: If you are completing a project for a client that has a lot of requests and changes to the project that you know are impossible and you still say yes to all of them as the project manager, you are causing scope creep. You need to be able to say no when you understand that something is not possible Try sitting down and explaining to your client why something cannot be changed or implemented, and they are likely to understand.


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Managing Scope Creep


Scope creep in agile project management is not necessarily the worst thing that could happen to your project, not if you know how to manage it correctly. Let’s take a look at some of the measures you and your team can take:

  • Always fully define and document your project scope. You can find here a Project Scope Example.
  • Make sure to meet with your stakeholders often to confirm that you have a common understanding of the scope.  
  • Have a change control system that includes change request forms, analysis process of the impacts of change requests, a change control board, clear communication plan for change requests, a procedure to follow when incorporating change.
  • Document the scope, included the project scope statement.
  • Get a final sign-off on the scope.
  • Use the change control system that you have established.
  • Keep up to date any project documents.


A project management software such as Sinnaps can greatly help to manage scope creep. The various communicative tools allow for effective communication. KPIs allow everyone to see how the project is going and what can be expected. Documentation is kept safely within the project plan and the Gantt-flow allows the project team to update progress as work is completed by validating tasks and updating the team with any changes introduced. A Gantt chart diagram is one of the most important Project Management techniques.


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Scope Creep PMP


For the PMP certification exam, you are required to know the difference between scope creep and scope change. The difference should also be understood in terms of addressing the impact of scope change on the project and the impact of scope creep on a project design. A real world example of scope creep can help you to understand the difference and its implication on project scope management.

There is no project that kind avoid the dangers of scope creep. And effective and efficient project manager is someone that knows how to control and manage scope creep. Questions that you should know how to answer our can scope creep be a good thing? Is there a way to avoid scope creep? What are the main causes of scope creep?

Having taken a look at examples of projects that suffered from scope creep, we hope that you have a clearer understanding of what it is and how it can be managed and planned for, especially with a project management software such as Sinnaps. Try it out for yourself today and let us know what you think in the comment below! 😊


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