How Can Featuritis Affect Your Policy Management System?

Many of us are unfamiliar with the term featuritis. Featuritis is a trend business are following by making a software/application feature-rich that ultimately results in software bloating. Though the intention of the developers is to make a product more useful for their clients, they end up at risking efficiency. And this is exactly how featuritis begins.Let’s take an example of the insurance industry. The insurers seek a customized life insurance software solution to facilitate their operations such as the billing process, policies issuance, payments of the claims, etc. Moreover, they want to have some automated functions for notifications and reporting as well. Definitely, it sounds interesting to have a system that can automatically reinstate underwriting notices, update payments, import cleared checks and prepare a monthly report. But, is adding extra features is the only solution to make a product useful?As a matter of fact, a system with innovative features assists claims management process. But developers can focus on some workarounds instead of keep on adding several features. Like manual clearance of the checks can reduce the need of adding importing cleared checks functionality. Simply by prioritizing the applications actually needed, one can enhance system’s capability and prevent system’s modifications.

Here we have come up with the ways featuritis can affect your policy management system:Requirement of new personnelSince, hiring employees is no less than expensive activity in insurance industry, getting new employees on board becomes even more challenging. A software solution, however, can help to replace new personnel. But, if this software solution will be hit by featuritis, new users will find it difficult to use.Increased Timelines:Development team initiates a software development project by outlining its specific requirements and timelines. But as the project starts, business analysts start demanding the addition of more features/functionalities in the software. This, in turn, make developers to implement those changes which ultimately increases the project timelines.Terrible QA Process:A QA analyst implements the QA process when the developed product is exactly the same as it was specified initially. He/she is responsible for implementing controlled testing and developing automated scripts. But when developers add more features to the system, QAs need to focus on modifying specifications as well as redesigning the overall process. In case final requirements are not specified, future testing can be affected.Ways To Prevent Featuritis:Managers usually review all the change requests made during the development process. While reviewing they should determine the consequences of denying change requests. They should analyze if it will create any impact on the departments on any particular tasks. Also, if adding feature can really improve the overall development process or any workaround in the current design can enhance efficiency. And of course, the time taken to implement extra features.After considering aforementioned things, a manager should determine if it is necessary to add extra features? In case, the manager finds it necessary, he/she should set original project timelines accordingly.Measures for Controlling:Generally, companies design an ideal system in such a way that it can handle 80% of the business operations smoothly and keep 20% for the workaround. With the advancement of technology, however, it is expected that this designing ratio will reduce to 95%/5%.

As a matter of fact, it is not worthy to add any typical feature to handle rare scenario where implementing the workaround could be a great help. Additionally, prior to approving system enhancement, senior managers should keep this 95 and 5% rule in consideration to determine if the system can actually enhance software’s efficiency.Final words:As we have mentioned earlier, a manager can majorly help in controlling featuritis by determining if the change requests made during the initial development process are necessary or not. If he fails to do so, the product quality or testing and maintenance process can suffer greatly. Also, the complexity in the software can make developers miss their original delivery time. Therefore, controlling featuritis is essential. By preventing it, developers can develop a better-designed application on time and can increase their efficiency. Also, an iterative testing process could be implemented in the software to find bugs and stop it to enter during maintenance.