scope creep

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scope creep

The continual enhancement of the requirements of a project as the system is being constructed. Also called "feature creep," scope creep occurs frequently in information systems development and is often responsible for projects going way over budget if the changes occur in the coding and testing stages rather than in the early design stages.

It seems to be the nature of humans that we cannot figure everything out at the start, and today's systems can be exceedingly complex. Refinements often come during the latter stages, because users, analysts and programmers have gained more experience after new functions are staged into operation. "Rome wasn't built in a day!" See prototyping and estimating a programming job.
References in periodicals archive ?
Citizens should be concerned about the wealth of new information indicating that "junk" DNA contains personal information, the risk of DNA databases being subject to function creep, and the risks created by familial DNA searching.
While Corbett (2008) has pointed out the problems posed by function creep in ALPR, I point out how their use in the United States is itself already a function creep since they were imagined as military projects before being so common in the United States.
Encryption would limit who could read the identifier, thus limiting the risks of function creep.
EDMOs, Empty Dwelling Management Orders, were widely misunderstood by the public and the press after a classic example of Function Creep by a local authority.
Mr Blunkett guaranteed there would be proper safeguards against function creep.