Scope Creep Meaning: Know What Causes it and Learn How to Prevent it!

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Jan 12, 2022

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It is seen many times that the scope or the market requirements related to the project change. As a project manager, it comes under your hat to make sure that the team is working on the updated scope. But many times it is seen that there is a scope creep because of the ever-changing demands and new requirements. So today we are going to discuss this in depth and know more about it. You will not only gain an insight of what it is but also see why this occurs and what could be the solution for the same. With pmp certification online, you will be well versed with this and able to understand more about it. In this article, we are going to throw light on the basic questions so that you are not going to face this and avoid it at any cost. So, let’s see what is scope creep meaning anyway!

What is Scope Creep?

This could be defined as the change in the project requirements that may come from various reasons. There could be added features in the software which were not there when the project started, or the requirements are updated as per the market requirements. There could be demands from the customer’s side which could lead to the reassessment of the project requirements. This comes under scope creep. This can occur where there are changes in the scope from the stakeholders or the customers. This could also arise from internal misconnection or misunderstanding. As a project manager, it becomes their responsibility to make sure whenever this kind of situation is going to arise, they are well equipped to handle it and revise the new requirements.

The change in the project is mostly inevitable and it is natural. But the scope will creep in when these requirements were not agreed upon and might create an imbalance in the team. There could be various variables that might have a negative toll on the project as they were not discussed as per the cost, time, and resource allocation in the beginning. Now that we have understood what scope creep is, we will get an insight into how scope creep might arise in the project.

What Causes Scope Creep in the Project?

Some scope creep examples are mentioned below:

Unclear project scope

One of the main reasons that is that the scope was not clearly defined in the beginning. If you do not have a scope for the project, how you will be able to control the project. There are many times that the scope is nonexistent and this creates a lot of issues once it proceeds. So, having a clear scope is very much needed when you are working in the project.

Clear Change management Plan

As mentioned above, there could be various changes that come in the project when it is live. So the change management plans as well the procedures to implement are needed in the project. One of the main reasons why the team is experiencing scope creep is because there is no proper plan to make sure that change is implemented successfully in the project. There could be instances that those changes are not even approved by the stakeholders as there is no defined procedure to handle those changes.


This is clearly the most common reason why there are scope creeps in the project. It is seen that when there is external pressure on the team from the client, the team might add new things or change the already agreed upon business which is not clearly communicated by the project manager or with the team. Also, during the information gathering sessions, the client has not clearly given the instructions to the requirements. This miscommunication can lead to big problems in the future and this could cause scope creep in the project.

Estimating poorly

Estimation is one of the major tasks when the project is going to start and if not done properly, this might lead to scope creeps after some time. There might be an issue with having a very accurate estimation at the beginning of the process, but with the right tools and knowledge of the last project and its metrics, you can have a better estimation for the team. Not being flexible enough for the timeline and cost for the project can be one of the reasons that scope creep is coming into the project.

Unexpected scenarios

Lastly, there are sometimes things that are not under your control. But when you are playing the role of project manager, it comes under your responsibility to deal with these scenarios at that time. You need to make sure that the project is following the right trajectory. You will be able to learn all those things during your pmp online training.

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How to Tackle Scope Creep in the Project?

In the article above, we have seen how there are various scenarios that can cause scope creep in the project. It is time for us to learn how we can handle these creeps in the project so that the team is able to deliver their best.

Practice proactiveness

There are many changes that are bound to come when you are working on the project. There could be new requirements or changes in the already existing ones. But one should not jump into them right away. The team and the project manager should come up with the change management in the project. This will have the procedure that the team needs to follow whenever there is a change in the scope of the project. This will make sure that all the things are covered and everyone including the stakeholders is on the same page.

Monitoring the scope

There should be a clearly defined scope for the project. This has to be made sure by the project manager and there should be no chance in this. After having a clear idea of the scope of the project, the manager should be able to monitor the current progress of the team and see if the path is going on the right scope. The monitoring of the project which is aligned with the scope should be done. The question like- How it is different from the original path of the project should be answered from time to time.

Analyzing the impacts

Whenever you are moving forward, you need to make sure that you are weighing in both the negative and positive impacts on the changes that are going to be introduced in the project. There are new requirements that are going to come your way and talking to the team and stakeholders about their impact and how this is going to change the scope of the project will help in choosing the right path for the project.


One of the main things that you can implement in the project is by being flexible with the cost line, budget, and other resources so that when the changes come, there is no burndown of the resources and the time. This will help in delivering the project on time and with full efficiency.


As mentioned above, miscommunication could be the reason that the project is going downhill when the new requirements are coming. So, as a project manager, you should practice this and make sure that the team is communicating well with each other, you as well as the stakeholders. Having feedback and practice agile method to track the progress will help a lot and this will keep things out in the open to be analyzed and serve the purpose of tracking the progress as well.


When you are working on a project, and going through your pmp certification training, you will come across various scenarios where you have to prioritize the tasks in your queue and make sure that the project deliverables are not getting harmed. The same is the case with the project scope. You need to prioritize the tasks and things in the project and make sure that the requirements that are needed from the client are met. Make sure that you are following the procedures to meet those requirements.


We have learned that project scope creep might give a poor performance graph for the team. But as we are now aware of the things that might cause this, the team will be able to avoid it and work in the right direction. The scope is very much important for the team as this gives the path on which the team is going to work. So whenever new requirements are going to be set in, the project manager should make sure that the team is prepared to work on it and all the procedures are being followed.

The role of a project manager is challenging as well as awarding. So if you are also looking to have your pmp certification, then coming to StarAgile for the best pmp certification course will be the best decision for your career. With things like scope creep, how to manage this, and the best practices of project management, you will learn from the best and get the best knowledge that is out there for you. So do not think twice and give wings to your career with the pmp certification from StarAgile and set new goals for yourself.


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