Gold Plating in Agile: Why You Should Address It?

Gold plating in agile is the act of adding extra features or functionality that is not part of the original scope of work. This extra work can be in the form of extra development, testing, or documentation. This can occur when developers or teams feel pressure to complete a project on time and under budget. In order to make the project look better or to hit a deadline, they may add extra and not important features in the product that are not essential to the success of the project. This can eventually lead to making your digital product not professional enough.

Gold plating in agile is the act of adding features or functionality beyond what is necessary or what is asked for by the customer. It is considered to be a form of scope creep and is generally frowned upon by the agile community

Gold plating can occur for a number of reasons, such as developers wanting to show off their skills or wanting to make the product “perfect”. Also, it can occur when developers or teams feel pressure to complete a project on time and under budget.

However, it is important to remember that agile is all about delivering value to the customer, and adding features that are not asked for does not always achieve this. 

In some cases, gold plating can actually add value to the product, but this should be done with caution and only after careful consideration. 

If you are unsure about whether or not to add a certain feature, it is best to consult with the product owner or stakeholder first.

Gold plating is often considered to be a bad practice in agile because it can lead to scope creep and cause projects to go over budget and over time. Especially if you are starting your project management career this will definitely make you a less serious manager.

However, there are times when gold plating may be unavoidable or even necessary. If gold plating is done with an understanding of the risks and trade-offs, it can be a successful strategy.

How is Gold plating in agile different from traditional project management?

In traditional project management, the project manager is responsible for ensuring that the project stays within scope and budget. 

In agile project management, the team is responsible for delivering the product within the desired timeframe.  This means that the team has to be more aware of the scope and budget, and they need to work together to ensure that the product meets the customer’s needs.

  • First, gold plating generally refers to adding extra features or functionality to a product that are not strictly necessary. This is often done in an effort to make the product more appealing to customers or to make it more competitive in the marketplace.
  • In agile, however, gold plating is generally discouraged. This is because agile focuses on delivering value to the customer as quickly as possible. Therefore, features that are not absolutely essential are usually considered to be wasteful and are not included in the final product.
  • Second, traditional project management is often focused on ensuring that a project is completed on time and within budget. This can sometimes lead to project managers cutting corners in order to meet these deadlines. In agile, however, there is a greater emphasis on quality over quantity.
  • Third, traditional project management in that it is typically done at the development stage, rather than at the planning stage. In traditional project management, Scope creep is a problem that can be avoided by careful planning and execution. Gold plating in agile, on the other hand, often occurs after the development team has started working on a product.
Gold Plating In Agile
Gold Plating In Agile

Examples of Gold plating in agile 

In the context of agile software development, gold plating is considered to be a form of scope creep and is generally frowned upon.

That being said, there are some situations where gold plating can be beneficial. 

  • For example, if a customer is willing to pay for extra features, then adding them can be a good way to generate additional revenue.
    Additionally, adding extra features can sometimes be justified if it makes the end product more usable or valuable to the customer.
  • Another common example is when a team adds extra features to a product that are not part of the original scope. This can happen when team members become overloaded with work and start to cut corners.
  • Another example is when a team spends too much time on one feature and ends up neglecting other areas of the product.

Gold plating can be a major problem in agile projects, but it can be avoided if team members are aware of the dangers. 

Scope creep Vs Gold plating in agile 

Scope creep and gold plating is two common issues that can occur in agile software development. 

  • Scope creep is when the requirements of a project start to increase beyond the original scope, while gold plating is when unnecessary features are added to a project.
  • Both of these issues can cause problems for agile teams, as they can lead to scope creep can cause projects to become over budget and behind schedule, while gold plating can cause projects to become bloated with unnecessary features.
  • Scope creep is usually considered to be a bad thing in general, as it can cause the project to balloon in size and become unmanageable. Gold plating, on the other hand, is not necessarily a bad thing; it can actually improve the quality of the project if it’s done in moderation.

So, how can you avoid these issues? 

The best way to avoid scope creep is to have a clear definition of done and to stick to it. 

In agile for example when gold plating, the best way to avoid it is to focus on delivering value to the customer and not get caught up in adding features that don’t add value.

Both of these issues can cause problems for a project, as they can increase the cost and time required to complete the work. Additionally, scope creep and gold plating can lead to lower quality software, as the extra features or requirements may not be well-tested or well-designed.

To avoid these problems, it is important to have a clear scope for a project before work begins. Especially if you want your client or stakeholders satisfied with the result of your product. Additionally, developers should resist the temptation to add extra features that are not part of the original plan, this will give a bad impression and lack of professionalism

Tips to avoid gold plating in agile 

In agile software development, the goal is to create a minimum viable product (MVP) that meets the needs of the customer. However, sometimes teams can get caught up in trying to create the perfect product, which is often referred to as gold plating.

Gold plating can be a major problem in agile because it can lead to scope creep and delay the delivery of the MVP.  It’s important to avoid gold plating in order to stay on track and deliver the MVP as quickly as possible. There are a few ways to avoid gold plating in agile. 

  • Make sure that you have a clear definition of what MVP is. 
  • Focus on delivering value to the customer, not on adding extra features.
  • Keep the team focused on the goal and remind them that the MVP is not the final product.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals from the start
  • Focus on delivering value, not features
  • Avoid scope creep by defining the scope of the project early on

FAQs

What is Gold Plating in Agile Project Management?

Gold-plating in agile project management is the act of adding extra features or functionality that are not part of the original scope. This is often done in an attempt to make the final product more valuable or marketable.

Why does Gold Plating happen in Agile?

Gold plating can occur when teams do not properly understand the definition of done. As a result, they may add extra features or functionality that is not required in order to meet the definition of done.

What are the consequences of gold plating in Agile?

Gold-plating can lead to scope creep, which can cause the project to take longer than originally planned and go over budget. It can also create tension and conflict among team members, as everyone may have different ideas about what should be included in the final product.

What is the main difference between Scope Creep and Gold Plating?

In agile, scope creep is usually caused by unclear requirements, while gold plating is usually caused by designers or developers adding extra features that they think are necessary or helpful.

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