Project Management

The Dimensional Approach to Scope Creep Management in Construction Projects

Abiodun Adewale Sorinolu

Failing to realize, recognize, and acknowledge the inevitable existence of scope creep in construction projects is resulting in unprecedented expansions in project sizes. This backlog effect has a negative and significant impact on projects of any size.

Suffice it to say that the equitable and efficient delivery of construction projects will be greatly enhanced if professional managers can focus their concerted efforts on developing measures to: identifying, monitoring, and managing scope creep in projects of any size (Figure 1).


 This article seeks to provide answers to the following questions:

What is scope creep? When does it happen (identifying)? Why does it happen (monitoring)? And, how can it be prevented from happening (managing)?

What is Scope Creep?

Scope creep (also known as requirement creep) in construction and project management refers to uncontrolled changes in a project scope. This phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled: it is generally considered a negative occurrence and thus should be avoided.

Typically, the scope increase consists of either the new project or product activity of already approved project designs, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget. As a result, the project team risks drifting away from its original …

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