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 ?
One central characteristic of function creep is that it is incremental, which makes it hard to pinpoint a clear tipping point between acceptable and unacceptable uses of people's data.
The instantaneous elastic-plastic deformation of rockfill materials was modeled using the Duncan E-B model [18], and the time-dependent creep deformation was modeled using the power function creep curve models [8].
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.