One of the major challenges I face in my software development role is managing scope creep. Granted this is not a unique challenge to software development, all projects face this issue. Though, I think with software it is magnified because you deal with if from both sides, the client and the development. The clients outlook is, hey if we can do this cool thing how about we also do that cool thing, the bells and whistles are all bedazzled on before the core need is even addressed. The development team outlook, being inherit problem solvers, that WOULD be cool, and we could then do this, and this and this, and we could use this new method that I just read about and then we could even offer this. This all happens before a character of code is written or viability is determined. And then the mother of all statements, it’ll be easy, shouldn’t take long at all. Everything is so energetic and exciting until about 3 months in struggling with the awesome ideas you came up with. Everyone is so exhausted from kicking themselves for even suggesting those last 10 fabulous features that getting through the project is brutal.
My worse case scenario pales in comparison to the magnitude of scope creep our Congress seems to have perfected. Recently a new law, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act was passed to help protect consumers from the credit card companies. the new rules were put in place to save consumers from being charged astronomical penalties without fair warning, it includes various other protections as well. Obvious protections like, monthly bills must show how long it would take you to pay off a balance with only minimum payments, statements must arrive at least 21 days before payment is due, up from 14 days, to help avoid late fees, and guns are now legal in all National Parks.
Yes, you read that correct my friends, guns are now legal in all National Parks. Assuming they are legal in the state of the National Park anyway, minor detail and beside the point. This new law was passed by being tacked onto the credit card bill as an amendment. You can’t get a better example of scope creep. To quote my favorite curmudgeon, Any Rooney, “Nothing in fine print is ever good news. Technically, it could be considered a form of extortion, as you would think this credit card protection was a swift ruling to combat the current economic crisis. Wrong! It took 10 years to pass this credit card ruling. Don’t even get me started on time line management. I guess they felt overturning the gun law was a small price to pay for calling this a closed project.
I can’t wait to see what the Health Care bill includes. Care to venture a guess?