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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Quality, Scope Management, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Most Common Causes of Scope Creep
Scope creep is one of the major reasons behind project faliure. Causes of scope creep may differ from one industry to another. What are the most common causes of scope creep in your industry?
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I work primarily in the Information Technology industry, and in my experience scope creep is caused by:
1. Poorly defined project goals and expected outcomes (often because no one bothered to create a project charter)
2. Poor communication between the project manager and stakeholders, resulting in each stakeholder having a different expectation of the project outcome
3. Project Managers who lack the courage to resist customers who intentionally try to expand the project scope
Damian -

A lack of understanding what is really needed on the part of the customer combined with an aggressive stance on nailing down all requirements prematurely by the project team.

Lack of clear goals and vague requirements
Hi. Here are few causes which caused scope creep in software development projects
- No prioritization of requirements
- management agrees to everything customer asks for
- trying to exceed customer satisfaction
- lack of proper change control
- lack of project planning
- and no clarity in vision/objective of the project when it was initiated.
I agree with what others have said:
- Requirements are not clearly or completely defined
- Stakeholder management not being done
- Missed stakeholders when gathering requirements
- Lack of interest of resistance from stakeholders
- Rush to start development and poor planning as a result
- Change control not implemented and not explained to or adopted by the stakeholders
- The definition of "done" was not set
- Weak WBS
- Ambigious Scope Statement and Baseline
- Unclear Project Vision
- Lack of Communication
- Lack of CCB
PM's inability to say no / not use the change management process.
Many reasons like: not all stakeholders were identified, not all requirements were gathered as well to define scope, not follow communication management plan and stakeholders, lack knowledge of project management plan...etc

Not saying "no".
Agree with Eric and Dinah
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