All Things Digital Explains Scope Creep in Web Development

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

This can lead to additional stress, time and addition costs to All Things Digital.

What is Scope Creep?

Scope creep is a project management term applicable to just about any undertaking in work or life. It results when the magnitude of a project exceeds or creeps past the boundaries of its original goals and objectives. It has a few aliases, including mission creep and requirement creep.

Characteristics of Scope Creep in Web Design

Clients often want to add additional features to their original request as they learn about them from colleagues or when they visit other websites.

  • Some of the common forms of scope creep include:
    Fresh images on each site visit
  • Unlimited image slideshows
  • Page counters
  • Web copy and content
  • Additional pages
  • Blogging services
  • Social media account set up and management
  • Periodic updates
  • SEO services

These are things that many clients may assume are included in designing or redesigning a website. While these features and services can certainly be offered it is not included and can be added as the project progresses at an additional cost and will impact the originally agreed project time frame.

Impact of Scope Creep on Web Design Projects

Scope creep has many negative results. An increased workload can lead to stress for the design team and a decrease in the quality of work. The added work either pulls you away from work for other clients or forces you to pay wages to a subcontractor to complete the extra tasks. In some cases, it means going back to make changes to work already completed.
Unless addressed by the designer, scope creep means spending more time doing more work no originally planned for leading to loss of income for our business.

It is also more difficult to meet project deadlines, and the added stress can lead to strained relationships with clients and between members of the development and design team members. At its worst, scope creep results in project incompletion and failure.

We will be happy to accommodate changes to a project provided that the client gives a clear expectation in writing and understands that changes will alter the originally agreed timeline and will incur additional costs to the project.