Poor project management sees IT projects expand beyond defined scope

10 June 2013

Scope creep a major issue for Singapore CTOs and CIOs

[Singapore], 11 June, 2013:  Poor management and planning is causing the size, scope and cost of IT projects to get out of control and expand way out of their scope definition.

According to a survey by recruitment specialist Robert Half, 76 per cent of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Singapore are concerned about scope creep in their jobs.  Scope creep refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in project scopes, resulting in both the time and cost needed to complete the project spiralling out of control.  

Globally, the percentage of CTOs and CIOs concerned by scope creep is also high at 76 per cent, with Hong Kong recording the highest level of concern at 82 per cent.

52 per cent of respondents in Singapore cited poor project management as the biggest cause of scope creep.  By contrast, only 24 per cent of Hong Kong IT professionals attributed the uncontrolled growth in their projects to poor project management.

Staff continuity (44 per cent) and the changing regulatory environment (38 per cent) are other prominent causes of scope creep in Singapore.

According to the survey, the IT or Technology function most prone to scope creep is the development of applications (44 per cent), followed by system upgrades and deployments (40 per cent), e-commerce (34 per cent) and website development (30 per cent).  


  All Countries Hong Kong Japan Singapore Europe Asia
System upgrades / deployments 37% 34% 42% 40% 33% 40%
36% 36% 40% 44% 35% 40%
Infrastructure 27% 24% 21% 26% 31% 23%
IT implementations 26% 14% 23% 24% 27% 21%
26% 36% 22% 30% 20% 28%
Mobile technology development 25% 22% 24% 26% 24% 24%
e-Commerce 17% 16% 20% 34% 13% 23%
Big data analysis 12% 8% 18% 8% 13% 13%
Other 2% 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%


Mr. Steve McGowan, Division Director of Robert Half Technology in Singapore, said scope creep is placing a lot of pressure on IT professionals.

“Scope creep is a major concern for IT heads and professionals.  It is almost impossible to plan a project properly when the objectives and scope keep changing."

"As a result, we are seeing increasing demand for IT professionals with strong leadership and communications skills who can deal with regular changes to their job and project objectives."

"The answer to scope creep is better planning, as well as communicating the plan with clear objectives to senior management to generate buy-in for resources and people across the term of the project.  According to the survey, 54 per cent of respondents are pushing for better project management to combat scope creep while 52 per cent are trying to improve collaboration between departments," Mr. McGowan said.


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Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
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