Scope creep an increasing concern to CTOs

25 March 2013

SCOPE CREEP AN INCREASING CONCERN TO CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICERS WITHIN HONG KONG FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

Hong Kong, 25 March 2013 – Eight in 10 (82%) IT heads in Hong Kong are concerned about scope creep in their department, according to a new Robert Half survey of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working in financial services firms in Hong Kong. Scope creep (also known as requirement creep), which refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project's scope, is found to occur most often in IT projects such as applications development, website development, system upgrades / deployments.

Which IT projects are most susceptible to scope creep?

Applications development 36%
Website development 36%
System upgrades / deployments 34%
Infrastructure 24%
Mobile technology development 22%
e-Commerce 16%
IT implementations 14%
Big data analysis 8%

When asked about the primary causes of scope creep, nearly half of the respondents (46%) cited staff continuity.  Other significant causes include the changing regulatory environment (30%), insufficient planning (28), and poor project management / planning (24%).

Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said, “The rapidly-changing business environment affects everyone in an organisation and the IT department is no exception. Businesses can sometimes get excited about a new application or a system upgrade. This may lead to scope creep in the IT department as they struggle to accommodate requests from their increasingly-demanding stakeholders. Failure to manage expectations, or in some cases, push back may result in the IT departments being perceived negatively in terms of their ability to deliver results and meet deadlines.”

On managing scope creep, 40% of respondents said they would increase either interim staff or permanent headcount to cope with the additional workload.  Better reporting, project management and collaboration between departments are also high on the IT departments’ agenda.  

What is your department doing to prevent or manage scope creep?

Better reporting 42%
Increased contract / interim headcount 26%
Better project management 26%
Better collaboration between departments 26%
Shortening release schedules 16%
IT boards / corporate governance 16%
Increased permanent headcount 14%
Implementing agile methodology 8%

“The need to hire professionals who can help IT departments maintain service levels and meet deadlines is more important than ever as scope creep can result in a project team overrunning its original budget and schedule, or even cripple a project if unchecked. Additional support from interim or contract IT specialists can also help reduce any potential tension between the IT department and their internal clients, and maintain productivity during workload peaks and troughs,” Ms. Anand concluded.

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