What is
scope creep?

What is it, what causes it, and how to overcome it? Read on…

Young women holding a laptop
Scope creep is a known foe of project managers. Larger businesses need dedicated people (even a team!) to keep it under control.
It can cripple big projects and even take down small businesses if it gets half a chance...

Scope creep could be costing you 10-15% of revenue

Scope creep is a common problem in project management and it can have serious consequences for a project's timeline, budget, and overall success. It occurs when the scope of a project, or the amount of work that needs to be done, begins to expand beyond the original plans and specifications.

Graph showing revenue lost to scope creep. 0-20% is 50%

Several factors lead to scope creep

There are many variables at play, so scope creep can be difficult to identify, watch out for:

Illustration of a phone, a video, a shopping basket and question marks.

Ambiguous scopes of work

It's unclear what is and isn’t included in the budget: Approved changes vs. client wish-list.
An envelope with money inside.

Poor communication

Assumptions about inclusions: Higher than expected invoices, or different expectations about deliverables, can sour relationships.
Emails, Slacks, phone calls, and messages jumbled together.

No formal process for changes

Change requests come from many channels: Emails, Slack, phone, WhatsApp...
A speech bubble saying 'You're a star! a few changes....'

Client/team relationships

Team members trying to be helpful to clients add unapproved requirements.

Scope creep can be difficult to quantify

Changes in scope are often gradual and may not be immediately apparent to everyone involved in the project. This can make it difficult for those leading the project (e.g. project managers in large teams, freelancers, or agency owners) to recognise when scope creep is occurring – and take action to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.  

Scope creep can also have a domino effect on other aspects of the project. If the scope increases, more resources such as time, money, and personnel will be needed to complete it. Leading to delays, cost overruns, and stakeholder management challenges with your team and particularly with your client.  

Scope creep is either indicative of, or can be the cause of,  a lack of focus and direction. Without clear project objectives it’s difficult to measure success, and delivering on unclear expectations can make it impossible to satisfy your customers. This can negatively impact the quality of project deliverables, compounding the problem of client dissatisfaction.

If you’ve owned or worked for a company that delivers products and/or services, you’ve felt this pain.  

So, how do you overcome a foe that can be difficult to detect, is caused by a myriad of different factors and is challenging to quantify the cost to your business (i.e. making it hard to prove this is a priority to solve)?!

For the lucky teams with dedicated project managers:

Strong communication and planning skills are paramount. Project managers must be proactive in communicating with stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that project requirements are clearly defined.

They should use project management tools and techniques to create detailed plans and schedules that outline the work that needs to be done and the resources that will be required.  

Clear project objectives are critical so that project managers know when to adapt to changes in project requirements, and when to push back. This may involve revising plans and schedules, or making adjustments to the project team to ensure that the project stays on track.

Importantly, if the project scope does need to change, capturing the value of these changes is critical to ensure the work is correctly invoiced and the team does not do more work for the same investment.

It’s trickier for smaller teams where the people delivering the work are also managing the project.  

Again, project objectives must be front and centre to act as a reminder to both client and business that additional requirements don’t always serve to improve project outcomes. Processes for change requests should also be in place – it’s hard when you have rapport and just want to jump on the phone or send a quick message. But a chain of custody for project requests and approvals will make it so much easier to ensure decisions are made purposefully and invoiced accordingly.

Icon of a website proposal

But Scope creep doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Scope creep represents untapped value in every project, for every client. Capturing that value will ultimately benefit both the provider and the client. For clients, the ability to uncover opportunities to improve project outcomes through additional scope can make the investment work harder. And ultimately, if they don’t choose to invest in additional scope – that’s ok too.

Enter, Scopey.  

Scopey will help put that 10-15% of lost revenue back into the pockets of businesses, and then some. Scopey helps you quote accurately, create well-defined project scopes, cross-sell, and manage change requests – all in one place.
Icons of magnifying glass and project scopeGradient
Quotes

"Scopey has been great, it didn’t just help us to bill more, it also meant we had a clearer original scope that took half the time".

Ben McKeown - Design Director

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FAQ: Your Guide to tackling
Scope Creep

Discover how our all-in-one solution empowers you to create detailed scopes of work, prevent scope creep, increase revenue, and keep your clients happy.
Is Scopey Project Management software?

No, we created Scopey because Project Management software is overly complicated for managing project scopes and change requests with clients. Scopey is Scope Management software, think of the project scope as a menu your client orders from, while the busy kitchen is project management. Scopey will integrate with Project Management and other tools you use.

What is scope creep and why is it a problem?

Scope creep occurs when your projects begin growing beyond the original agreement – due to extra work or features being added without proper planning or compensation. It's a real business killer, costing you around 10-15% of your annual revenue. So, if you want to save money and keep your projects on track, dealing with scope creep is a must.

How can Scopey help me prevent scope creep?

Scopey helps you create detailed scopes of work that ensure everyone's on the same page. Plus, it makes it simple for clients to request additional work and approve additional budget.

Can Scopey actually make me more money?

Absolutely! Scopey has some awesome features to boost your revenue. Instead of doing change requests for free, upsell your services to clients. Plus, Scopey helps you discover additional services that will benefit your clients, giving you more opportunities to expand your scope of work and make more money.

How will Scopey keep my clients happy?

With Scopey, your clients will feel like the VIPs they are. They'll feel heard, because their requests aren't getting lost in email chains or text threads. They'll be better informed about the cost of their requests, and empowered to decide whether or not to add them to the project scope. Say goodbye to misunderstandings and unexpected bills. Happy clients, happy you!

Can I get in on this Scopey action?

Definitely! You can request to join the beta release – book a demo or fill in a form and we'll show you the ropes. As an early user, you'll have access to exclusive pricing. Don't miss out on this all-in-one platform for proposals, scope management, and approvals.