Scope creep is when a task or project grows beyond its original intent, requiring more people, time and money than originally planned. It is typically a result of poor task definition, change control or internal communication. A precisely defined decision limits scope creep.
Scope: The extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant; the opportunity or possibility to do or deal with something.
Creep: To move slowly and carefully, especially in order to avoid being heard or noticed; moving very slowly at a steady pace; occur or develop gradually and almost imperceptibly; increase slowly but steadily in number or amount. Old English crēopan, meaning to “move with the body close to the ground”. Of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kruipen.
According to Economic Recovery Measures, Financial Rescues Have Only Temporary Impact by Kathy Ruffing and James R. Horney from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Bush-era tax cuts and its extension during the Obama presidency, in addition to the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, account for “almost half of the $18 trillion in debt that, under current policies, the nation will owe by 2019.” Deficit-creep.