Published On: Thu, Jun 15th, 2017

Simple Solutions For Tech Startup Feature Creep

If you have an idea for a technology business in your head, there is a long road to travel before it eventually makes it to the market. And along that path will be many different distractions that take you away from your overall goals – known in the trade as feature or scope creep.

Tech Startup Feature

Feature creep is an incredibly dangerous issue for many tech startups, and unless you can keep things on track, there is an excellent chance your business will fail. With this in mind, here are some simple solutions that can help you retain your focus, and ensure there is still a high chance of the idea becoming a reality.

Decide on an end result

First of all, what do you actually need from this particular part of your development or project launch? It’s important to establish this goal right at the very beginning, and make sure you document them. Everyone should be aware of the ultimate business need at any given time – it’s such a simple thing to do, yet so easy to ignore when you are trying to manage a complicated project from start to finish.

Have a dedicated sign-off process

The larger your project is, the more you will need to have a rigorous sign-off process. There should be a single authority that signs off each aspect of the project, and ultimately a member of the leadership team – you, if you are the business owner – who then aligns each piece of work with the overall goal. Make sure that everyone signing things off understands the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ in your project. The needs are business critical and must be completed, while the wants are largely superfluous for the moment. Also, too much focus on the fancier aspects of your business is one of the first – and worst – stages of feature creep.

Document your process

There are plenty of software tools out there that can help you track and trace your work. Programs like JIRA allow you to set up milestones, sign-off processes and include bug reports and progress charts. You can even use the JIRA test management feature for running final tests before you sign things off. Whatever technology project you are running, you can guarantee one thing: it will get complex. Using specialist project management tools will help you keep things on track and avoid feature creep.

Plan for changes

There is a big difference between feature creep and making necessary changes to your startup. While the former involves spending too much time on unnecessary tasks, the latter is vital – and you need to plan for it. Those critical changes could arise due to a shift in the market you are targeting, a change of leadership teams, or even someone new bringing in an idea you haven’t considered yet.

Stick to a timeline

Nothing focuses the mind more than a deadline, so make sure you have a schedule that includes everything from final completion down to small, quick wins. Mix it up a little, too, to keep your team on their toes and interested in the project. Be lean, agile, and quick to change, and you will find your chances of success increase significantly.