Work in web development long enough and you realize no two projects are exactly alike.
Projects I’ve been involved with (around 200 to my best guess) run the gamut from single-page sales pitches to full-blown (and overly complex) social communities. And everything in between.
And there’s a common thread that has run through every one of them: feature creep.
Feature creep, or “scope creep,” happens when a project’s overall scope (and workload) inflates because of unforeseen or unspecified features and functions. The result is usually confusion, frustration and, to varying degrees, the loss of profitability on the project. Mild cases are annoying. Bad cases can throw you into an existential crisis (“Why am I even doing this?” “What’s the point if I can’t turn a profit?” “Maybe I should get the band back together…”)
There are ways to manage this phenomenon, to nip it in the bud before it kills your spirit and profitability.