+27 (0) 66 263 0630 | 039 695 1836

Scope Creep


Scope Creep in Web Development

Scope Creep is when we are committing our time and energy to a project, only to discover that our responsibilities and our clients expectations are growing far beyond the initial requirements.

This can lead to additional stress, time and costs to Designs4life.

What is Scope Creep?

Scope Creep is a project management term used when the magnitude of a project exceeds or creeps past the boundaries of its original goals and objectives.

Characteristics of Scope Creep in Web Design

Scope creep takes on many different appearances when it comes to a project. Its when our clients often wants to add additional features to their original request when they have learned about them from colleagues or when they have visited other websites. The most common forms of scope creep include:

  1. Unlimited images and galleries
  2. Company Logos, Company Profiles,  Letterheads, Business Cards and Flyers
  3. Web copy and content writing
  4. Adding additional pages
  5. Change of look and feel of website once completed
  6. Blogging services
  7. Social media account set up and management
  8. Social media icons, backgrounds and feeds
  9. Periodic updates
  10. SEO services
  11. Training

Clients make the error in assuming that the above are included in designing or redesigning a website.

If clients want these services included they need to add them to their project agreement at an additional cost. Clients need to be very specific if they require periodic site updates and how often is “periodic?

The Causes of Scope Creep

Scope creep can appear in a variety of forms, these three causes of scope creep are common to our web developers.

  1. Our clients do not always clearly tell us what they want because they simply don’t understand what we can do for them.
  2. Scope creep can magnify as a result of a unclear web design project, this leads additional time, resources and costs. By knowing exactly what is to be completed, by whom and when keeps  developers and clients on track.
  3. When our clients like to add in a few extra project requirements which does not meet the original agreement. We find it to be much easier for us to communicate fees for extra work if we can point out that the work is outside of the agreed upon deliverables.

Impact of Scope Creep on Web Design Projects

Scope creep has many negative results. It can increase our workload and lead to stress for our designers and also decrease the quality of our work. The added work can either pull us away from work for our other clients, or force us to pay wages to a subcontractor to complete the extra tasks. In some cases, it means us going back to make additional changes to work we have already completed.

Unless addressed by our designers scope creep means spending more time doing more work but not making more money, thereby reducing profits. It is also more difficult for us to meet project deadlines, and the added stress can lead to strained relationships with our clients and between members of our development and design team. At its worst, scope creep results in project incompletion and failure.