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Scope creep (also called requirement creep, function creep and feature creep) in project management refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope, at any point after the project commences. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful.
Scope creep can be a result of:
- poor change control
- lack of proper initial identification of what is required to bring about the project objectives
- weak project manager or executive sponsor
- poor communication between parties
- lack of initial product versatility
Scope creep is a risk in most projects. Most megaprojects fall victim to scope creep (see Megaprojects and Risk). Scope creep often results in cost overrun. A "value for free" strategy is difficult to counteract and remains a difficult challenge for even the most experienced project managers.
- Lewis, James (2002). Fundamentals of Project Management (Second ed.). AMACOM. pp. 29, 63. ISBN 0-8144-7132-3.
- Kendrick, Tom (2015). "Chapter 3. Identifying Project Scope Risk". Identifying and Managing Project Risk: Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project (3rd ed.). AMACOM. pp. 50–52. ISBN 978-0-8144-3609-7.