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Eight in ten (82%) IT heads in Hong Kong are worried about the so-called scope creep in their companies, a survey of chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) in Hong Kong has found. Many plan to hire additional interim or permanent staff to deal with the increased work load.
Scope creep refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project's scope. It occurs most in IT projects such as applications development, website development, system upgrades or deployments.
The research, conducted by Robert Half, questioned IT professionals in financial services sector firms in Hong Kong. It asked respondents on how they manage scope creep, with 40% saying they would increase either interim or permanent headcount to cope with the additional workload. Better reporting, project management and collaboration between departments are also high on the agenda.
“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,” said Pallavi Anand, director of Robert in Half Hong Kong.
Respondents were also asked about what was causing scope creep with nearly half (46%) citing staff continuity. This was followed by changing regulatory environment (30%), insufficient planning (28), and poor project management/planning (24%).
“The rapidly-changing business environment affects everyone in an organisation and the IT department is no exception,” said Ms Anand. “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.”