Feature Creep

When creating software one thing people have to be worried about is feature creep. This is where they keep coming up with new features to add and in doing so they might turn a very clean and effective program into a convoluted mess that keeps getting delayed to get more features added.

Similar things happen in other industries. Writers will want to add “one more paragraph” or “one more chapter” or “one more something” and in doing it create something much longer and confusing than it should have been.

Marketing people do this where they want to add one more bright color, one more line of text or one more something.

Two ways to help avoid feature creep are as follows:

Set a ship date. Whether it’s a marketing campaign, a book, a software application or something, at some point you will need to be done. Set a date where you are ready to “ship it” (whether it’s literally something that needs to be shipped or not) and don’t allow for extensions
Figure out what to remove. Feature creep happens when you look for things you can add. Instead, look for things you can remove. What will make it cleaner, sharper, better?

One thing to remember is you can frequently add features later if necessary. This is done all the time with technology but can be applied in other industries as well. You can do a second book. You can do another marketing campaign. The ship date forces you to get it to market but doesn’t mean nothing can be added later IF IT’S NEEDED.

Do what you can to avoid feature creep and get ready to ship it

Have a great day!


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