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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Feature Creep: What Causes It & How To Avoid It

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Feature Creep: What Causes It & How To Avoid It

feature-creep-cover
Feature creep. Featuritis. Feature bloat. Creeping featurism. Bloatware. These all refer to the same thing, and it isn’t good.
Feature creep (and its synonyms) is the “tendency to constantly add features which inevitably leads to complex products that are confusing and hard to use.”
New York Times columnist David Pogue was one of the first people to publicly call attention to feature creep when he “famously demonstrated to a rapt audience at the 2006 TED conference what happened when he opened every possible toolbar in his Microsoft Word program—there was no room on the screen for the primary value-adding function of composing a simple text document,” explains Matthew May.
feature creep microsoft example
We get it. Feature creep isn’t a malevolent act against your customers. But by shoving numerous features into your product you risk turning your product into something that does many things marginally well rather than accomplishing a few core tasks exceptionally well.
People can get over not having a feature if your product is solid, but cannot get over having buggy or poorly thought out features. Focus on quality over quantity. As you grow, you can add well thought out features that are easy to use, but don’t jump the gun just to satisfy a customer or two.
While determining which features will be developed and saying “no” to avoid feature creep falls primarily to product managers it is important for everyone involved with a product (from development to marketing) to understand feature creep and its consequences.
In today’s blog you’ll learn:
  • Why feature creep is bad
  • How feature creep happens
  • When to say “yes” and when to say “no” to new features

Why feature creep is bad

feature creep problems

More issues, more money

Every feature added means more potential bugs and utilizing more of your company’s resources. Resources are not just the front-end development time, but also promotion and lifelong support (via development and customer support staff). “Every change you implement requires building, testing, and iterating…and then, launching, promoting and supporting it,” explains SaaS copywriter Pawel Grabowski. All those resources and additional support increase costs, and expenses are often substantially more than your initial estimates.

Feature fatigue

Ever heard of the saying “having too much of a good thing?” Feature fatigue is a phrase coined in a 2009 studypublished in the Journal of Marketing Research and it occurs when your overabundance of features becomes “too much of a good thing” for your customers. “Too many features can encourage initial purchase but damage satisfaction and reduce repurchase probabilities, leading to lower customer lifetime values,” according to Grabowski.
product feature curve

Not user-friendly

Feature-heavy products often include complicated user interfaces or user experiences, neither of which are very user-friendly. Another lesson from feature fatigue is that often customers don’t actually enjoy having tons of features.
If we all agree feature creep is bad, why does it still continue to happen?

Common reasons feature creep happens

feature creep dilbert comic
While not an all-inclusive list, below are some of the common reasons features are requested and reasons requests become feature creep.
  • A belief that this feature is “the one.” a.k.a. The feature linchpin that launches your product into unicorn status.
  • A (big) potential customer requests it
  • Your competitors have features that your product doesn’t provide
  • A belief that if you don’t build the feature someone else will and you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage (this is similar to the point above)
  • Your boss or a coworker wants the feature
  • You imagine the feature being helpful in the future
  • You want to incorporate emerging trends such as building a social feature to capitalize on the current social media craze
  • Development time is quick
  • It would be great to give customers the option to utilize this feature
  • You haven’t released any features in a while and you don’t have any upcoming releases
  • “Lots of” customers are requesting it. What does “lots of” really mean?
Steli Efti feature creep
Now that we’ve looked at the common reasons feature creep can happen, let’s look at the most important aspect of avoiding feature creep: saying no.

When to say “yes” and when to say “no” to new features

When analyzing feature requests, use the points below to help determine when you should say “no” to new features.

Focus on the problem your product solves for users

Always go back to your original product vision and purpose. “Product vision guides everyone involved in developing a product toward making it a success.1 It’s the goal you strive for, the reason why you created your product. So every time you face a new idea, run it by your product vision,” says Grabowski.
“It’s all about striking the right balance between features and functionality and maintaining a laser-focus on yourproduct vision,” advises Heather McCloskey, Inbound & Content Marketing Manager at UserVoice.

Focus on project priorities

This is similar to the information above, but on a more macro level. “Set an overarching product goal…keep your high-level goal at the forefront, and make sure each feature supports that goal,” suggests Ellen Chisa, VP of Product at Lola Travel.

Consider the time/resources involved

“Sure, it might take an hour to build a feature in an ideal test case. But when you try and integrate that into your existing platform, work on the UI & UX, get your designers involved, write some tests, and eventually push the code, you’ll probably have spent the whole day. Is the feature worth it? Maybe. But you need to be realistic about how long it’ll take,” points out Intercom co-founder Des Traynor.
And quite possibly our favorite quote regarding resources and feature development came from Chisa:
“A universal law of product management: There are always more feature requests than available development time.”

Look at the data

You can look at usage data to determine which features are being used and those getting the most usage.
What features are increasing user engagement?
You do need to also be cautious when looking at data to determine the validity of a new feature. Traynor explains why:
“Even if the data is solid, and the increase in engagement is good, you still have to question whether it fits within the purview of the product. Add Tetris to your product and you’ll probably see a boost in engagement, but does that mean your product is better?”

Listen to customer feedback

As we discussed in the previous section, it is important to look at why customers are making the requests that they are. Dig deeper into the underlying issues. “Sometimes feature requests are actually usability issues in disguise,” offers InVision’s Jennifer Aldrich.
It is also critical to clearly distinguish between customers’ needs and wants.
“Focus first on customer needs, and second on wants, chances are when you’ve served your customers’ needs, they will no longer have so many wants,” says McCloskey.

Determine ease of use

dilbert four hundred features
This point ties in to the one above. Be honest about how user-friendly the feature will be. How much effort will it take customers to use the new feature? If it is more effort than the reward, it isn’t likely to be utilized — even if it fills a need.

Examine impact to the existing workflow

confusing-workflow
“Adding a whole new workflow to your product should be a rare occurrence. The majority of your time should be invested in improving, complementing, or innovating upon existing ones, and for any given project you should know which of these you are doing,” explains Traynor.

Look at how your overall business will be affected

A new feature is especially tempting if the impact is likely to be increased revenue. But, be careful here. The resulting revenue is something that should be considered, but not be the sole determining factor. Some features may increase revenue short-term, but derail the original product vision.

Recognize impact to existing customers

This point often relates back to a potential customer’s request for a new feature. First, a customer shouldn’t take precedent over the overall value of your product. Second, the extra value the requested feature will bring to one customer often takes away value from existing customers. Remember, your current paying customers keep your company afloat.

Short-term outcome vs. long-term value

When looking at common reasons feature creep happens, we discussed the desire to capitalize on a current or emerging trend (such as social media). When weighing a feature request and its value you may want to ask yourself, “will this feature still be valuable in 5 years?”

Feature scope

“A good sign that a feature isn’t well scoped is when it lacks specifics, e.g. ‘Make it work for bigger companies’, or that it’s feature based e.g. ‘reports’, as opposed to job-based e.g. ‘Let sales managers see their team performance’,” explains Traynor. When reviewing a feature request, be honest about its scope to avoid future issues.
For great examples of exactly how to phrase your “no” Intercom has an interactive infographic, “Put an end to feature creep,” that’s worth checking out.
The infographic at the end of this post summarizes the points you should consider when evaluating feature requests and determining if the feature adds value to the original product vision or would be more likely to contribute to feature creep.

Don’t be afraid to kill features

This topic deserves it’s own blog, so we won’t dive too deep into it now. With that said, it’s worth mentioning the importance of killing features that no longer make sense or provide value.
“One of the hardest parts of managing feature creep is tearing out features after you’ve built them and they haven’t worked,” admits entrepreneur Jake Peters.
Groove went through the difficult decision to remove their LiveChat feature and they detail the process in their blog, “Why We Killed One of Our Biggest Features to Grow Our Business.” It’s a fantastic read and one we highly recommend you check out.
Regularly auditing your product’s features and killing those that aren’t providing value is an important aspect of keeping feature creep at bay. The act of killing a feature can be difficult, but remind yourself there is a reason for your decision (and make sure you know that reason).

Conclusion

One of a product manager’s hardest jobs is determining which new features to develop and which requests to pass on. It is never easy to think (or say), “Yes, that is a great idea, but we’re not going to do it.” Saying “no,” especially to a boss or investor, can be difficult but it is necessary for the overall success of your product.
feature-creep-infographic
How does your company handle feature requests? Has it allowed you to be successful in avoiding feature creep? Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below.


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My STARTUP :

Let me introduce myself. My name is Richard Nata. I am an author, novelist, blogger and ghost writer. My articles, including short stories have been published in magazines and newspapers since 1994. I have written a lot of books, both fiction and non-fiction. So I was a professional in the field of writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

I was born in Jakarta, August 17, 1968.  

In 1988, at the age of 20 years, I started working as an accounting staff. Age 24 years has occupied the position of Finance Manager. Age 26 years as a General Manager.

In 1994, my articles published in magazines and tabloids.

In 1997, I wrote a book entitled "Buku Pintar Mencari Kerja". This book is reprinted as much as 8 times. Through the book, the authors successfully helped tens of thousands of people get jobs at once successful in their careers. They were also successful when moving to work in other places.

In 1998, I started investing in shares on Bursa Efek Indonesia (Indonesia stock exchange). As a result of investing in the stock market then I can provide consulting services for companies that want to go public in Indonesia stock exchange.

more information :
1. IPO KAN PERUSAHAAN ANDA DI BEI, TRIK TERCEPAT MENJADIKAN ANDA SEORANG KONGLOMERAT. brand, ideas, story, style, my life: IPO KAN PERUSAHAAN ANDA DI BEI, TRIK TERCEPAT MENJADIKAN ANDA SEORANG KONGLOMERAT.
2. JASA KONSULTAN GO PUBLIC ( IPO ) DI BURSA EFEK INDONESIA. 


BUKU PINTAR DAPAT KERJA GAJI TINGGI PINDAH KERJA GAJI SEMAKIN TINGGI made by retyping the book BEST SELLER of the author, entitled “Buku Pintar Mencari Kerja”. This ebook available on google play.

In 2015, I had the idea of a startup company where the readers can decide for themselves the next story. WASN'T THIS A GREAT IDEA? IF can be realized WILL BE WORTH billions USD. Because CAN PRODUCE FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS even tens of millions USD annually. 

In theory, in 10-20 years into the future, my startup income, amounting to hundreds of million USD annually can be obtained easily. AND IF FOLLOWED BY MANY COMPANIES IN THE WHOLE WORLD WILL THEN BE A NEW INDUSTRIAL worth trillions USD. 

To be honest. Currently I'm not having a lot of money. So I start marketing my startup with blogspot.

My STARTUP :


A story with millions of choices in it - looking investor like you.



Try to imagine this. When you're reading a story on the web or blog, you are given two choices. You can choose the next story based on your own choice. After selecting then you can continue reading the story. Shortly afterwards you will be presented back to the 2 other options. The next choice is up to you. Then you continue the story you are reading. After that you will be faced again with 2 choices. So onwards. The more stories you read so the more options you have taken.


If you feel curious then you can re-read the story by changing your selection. Then you will see a different story with the story that you have read previously. The question now is why is this so? Because the storyline will be varying according to your choice. 


I, as the author is planning to make tens of thousands of articles with millions of choices in it. With tens of thousands of articles then you like to see a show of your favorite series on TV for several years. The difference is while watching your favorite TV series, then you can not change the story. Meanwhile, if you read this story then you can alter the way the story according to your own choice.

You might say like this. Sounds like a book "choose your own adventure". Books I read when I was young.

Correctly. The idea is taken from there. But if you read through a book, the story is not so exciting. Due to the limited number of pages. When a child first you may already feel interesting. But if you re-read the book now then becomes no fun anymore because you don't get anything with the amount of 100-200 pages. 

Have you ever heard of game books?  When you were boy or girl, did you like reading game books? I think you've heard even happy to read it.

Gamebooks are sometimes informally called choose your own adventure books or CYOA which is also the name of the Choose Your Own Adventure series published byBantam BooksGamebook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gamebook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A gamebook is a work of fiction that allows the reader to participate in the story by making effective choices. The narrative branches along various paths through the use of numbered paragraphs or pages.
Lihat preview menurut Yahoo

Bantam Books with the Choose Your Own Adventure 

series has produced more than 250 million US 

dollars. While I offer you more powerful than the Choose 

Your Own Adventure. Because of what? Because the 

story that I made much more interesting than the stories 

created by the authors of Bantam Books. You will not get anything just to 100-200 pages. While the story that I created is made up of tens of thousands of articles with millions of choices in it.

For comparison are the books published with the theme "choose your own adventure" produces more than 250 million copies worldwide. If the average price of a book for 5 USD, the industry has produced more than 1.5 billion USD. But unfortunately this industry has been abandoned because the reader begins to feel bored. The last book was published entitled "The Gorillas of Uganda (prev." Search for the Mountain Gorillas ")". And this book was published in 2013.

Based on the above, then you are faced with two choices. Are you interested in reading my story is? Or you are not interested at all. The choice is in your hands.
If you are interested then spread widely disseminated this article to your family, friends, neighbors, and relatives. You can also distribute it on facebook, twitter, goggle +, or other social media that this article be viral in the world. By doing so it is a new entertainment industry has been created.

Its creator named Richard Nata.

The full articles that talks about this: 
  



WHY DO I NEED STARTUP FUNDS FROM INVESTORS? I NEED A LOT OF FUNDS FROM INVESTORS BECAUSE I HAVE TO LOOKING FOR EXPERT PROGRAMMERS(IT).BECAUSE THE DATA IS HANDLED IS VERY LARGE, IT MAY HAVE TO WEAR SOME PROGRAMMERS(IT).

I CAN NOT WEAR SOME FREELANCE PROGRAMMER BECAUSE THE DATA MUST BE MONITORED CONTINUOUSLY FROM VIRUSES, MALWARE, SPAM, AND OTHERS.

IN ADDITION FUNDS FROM INVESTORS IS ALSO USED TO BUY SERVERS WITH VERY LARGE CAPACITY. FUNDS ARE ALSO USED TO PAY EMPLOYEE SALARIES AND OPERATIONAL COSTS OF THE COMPANY.

FUNDS CAN ALSO BE USED FOR ADVERTISING AND OTHER MARKETING STRATEGIES.FUNDS CAN ALSO BE USED TO ADVERTISE MY STARTUP AND OTHER MARKETING STRATEGIES.

IF I GET A VERY LARGE FUND, THE PART OF THE FUNDS USED TO TRANSLATE THE STORY INTO VARIOUS LANGUAGES.With more and more languages, the more readers we get.
WITH MORE AND MORE READERS, THE MORE REVENUE WE GET. 

AS AN INVESTOR THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL ANXIOUS ABOUT YOUR FUNDS. BECAUSE YOUR FUNDS WILL NEVER BE LOST BECAUSE IN 3-5 YEARS YOU HAVE RETURNED THE FUNDS COUPLED WITH PROFIT.
THIS BUSINESS IS ONE AND THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD.

If we can make a good story, so that the readers will 

come again and again for further reading the story then 

our earnings will continue to grow and will never 

diminish. This is due to new readers who continued  to 

arrive, while long remained loyal readers become our 

customers.

So that the number of our readers will continue to 

multiply over time. With the increasing number of loyal 

readership then automatically the amount of income we 

will also grow larger every year. The same thing 

happened in yahoo, google, facebook, twitter, linkedin, 

and others when they still startup.

Deuteronomy {28:13} And the LORD shall make thee the 

head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and 

thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do [them: ]

Try to imagine this. If I give a very unique story. It was the first time in the world. But the world already know this story even liked it. Because the world love the game books. While the story that I made is the development of game books.
Do you Believe if I dare say if I will succeed because my story will be famous all over the world as Harry Potter?
I believe it. Not because I was the author of the story, but because of the story that I made is unique and the only one in the world. 
Income from my startup :
1. Ads. With millions of unique visitors, the price of the ads will be expensive.
2. Affiliate marketing. In addition to advertising, we are also able to put up some banner from affiliate marketing.
3. Contribution of the readers. If you have a million readers and every reader to pay one US dollar per year then you will get the income of one million US dollars per year. 
If you have a million readers and every reader to pay one US dollar per month then you will get as much revenue twelve million US dollars per year.
4. Books and Comics. After getting hundreds of thousands to the millions of readers of the story will be made in books and the form of a picture story (comics).
5. Movies. If we have a good story with millions of readers then quickly we will be offered to make a film based on the story.
6. Merchandise related to characters. After the movies there will be made an offer for the sale of goods related to the characters.
7. Sales. With millions of email that we have collected from our readers so we can sell anything to them.
    Each income (1-7) worth millions to tens of millions of US dollars. 
    Because each income (1-7) worth millions to tens of millions of US dollars. Then in 10-20 years into the future, AI will be earning hundreds of million USD annually.
So how long do you think my story that I made could gather a thousand readers? Ten thousand readers? One hundred thousand readers? A million readers? Five million readers? Ten million readers? More than ten million readers?
But to get all of it of course takes time, can not be instant. In addition, it takes hard work, big funds and placement of the right people in the right positions.
By advertising, viral marketing, strong marketing strategies and SEO then a million readers can be done in less than a year. Ten million readers can be done in two to three years.
This is the marketing strategy of my startup.
When hundreds of thousands or millions of readers already liked my story then they have to pay to enjoy the story that I made.
If you are a visionary then you will think like this.
With the help of my great name in the world of business, my expertise in marketing, advertising, marketing by mouth, viral marketing, then collecting a million readers to ten million readers will be easy to obtain. Is not that right?
The question now is what if people like my story as they like Harry Potter? You will get tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of email addresses from readers. With that much email, we can sell anything to the readers.
Since April 2013, Wikipedia has around 26 million articles in 285 languages are written by 39 million registered users and a variety of anonymous people who are not known from other parts of the world.  Web ranked by Alexa, Wikipedia is a famous website number 6 which has been visited by 12% of all Internet users with 80 million visitors every month and it is only from the calculation of America.

resource : http://www.tahupedia.com/content/show/136/Sejarah-dan-Asal-Mula-Wikipedia

If no Wikipedia then need hundreds of thousands to millions of books required to make 26 million articles in 285 languages into books.

With the Wikipedia then people started to leave to read a book or books to seek knowledge about a subject or many subjects.

The same thing will happen. Read a story in a book or books to be abandoned. Read a story with millions of choices on the web or blog is far more interesting than reading a book or books. 

So what happens next? In 10-20 years ahead then read a story in a book to be abandoned. Otherwise my startup will grow and continue to develop into a new entertainment industry.

New entertainment industry, where I was a forerunner startup will continue to evolve. 
Therefore, in 10-20 years into the future, my startup will be earning hundreds of million USD annually.

So do not delay. Invest your money immediately to my startup. Take A Look. There are so many advantages if you want to invest in my startup.
WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST YOUR MONEY RIGHT NOW? .
IF YOU INVEST YOUR FUNDS IN ONE, TWO OR THREE YEARS INTO THE FUTURE, YOU MAY BE TOO LATE.
BECAUSE IN 1-3 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE THEN I'VE GOT THE FUNDS. THE FUNDS CAN COME FROM SOME INVESTORS, LOANS FROM BANKS OR FROM ADVERTISEMENTS POSTED ON MY BLOG.

IF I'VE GOT A LARGE AMOUNT OF FUNDS THEN I'VE NO NEED OF YOUR FUNDS. SO INVEST NOW OR NOT AT ALL.

My BLOG started to be written January 11, 2015. TODAY, MAY 30, 2015, THE NUMBER OF CLICKS HAS REACHED 56,750. SO FAR SO GOOD.

If I get big funds from investors then with a quick story that I wrote will spread throughout the world.

So I got acceleration because I can put ads in a large variety of media such as Google AdWords, Facebook, and others. I also can perform a variety of other marketing strategies.
If I do not get funding from investors then my story would still spread throughout the world. But with a longer time, Slow but sure.

So either I get funding from investors or not, the story that I wrote will remain spread throughout the world. Ha ... 7x

So don't worry, be happy.

My advice to you is you should think whether the data that I have provided to you makes sense or not .
If my data reasonable then immediately invest your funds as soon as possible.

Then we discuss how we plan further cooperation.

Thank you.
Lord Jesus bless you.
Amen
P.S. The offer letter I gave also to the hedge funds and 

venture capital and other major companies 

in the entire 

world. So who is fast then he will get it.


P.P.S. In addition, there is one more thing I 

want to tell you. If a story can generate tens 

of millions of US dollars, then what if made 


many stories? Then why do not you make 2, 3 or many stories? You will get hundreds of million USD annually. 

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