A Checklist for Feature Development

A technology company should deliver innovation. The only way to push the envelop is to think about, design and implement new features. Delivering new features is a slippery slope... too many (unused) features and you get a bloated system.

The key is to deliver features everyone on your platform will use.

Below is a good checklist to consider before developing any new products and/or features.

1) Does the new feature fit our vision for the product?
– For this, you need to get to the core of the product. What are we trying to deliver?
– What is the most valuable thing we can deliver to the user?

2) Is Reward > Effort?
– This one is simple: will the feature produce enough revenue and customer sticky-ness to facilitate the effort required to build the feature?

3) Does it benefit all customers?
– It's easy to take direction from your loudest customers. But these users are often the worst people to listen to.
– Do research to confirm that the feature is truly useful.
– Understand what’s behind the customer's motivation for feature requests.

4) Will it grow the business?

5) Will it matter in 5 years?
– Focus on the things that don’t change. If it will not matter in the coming years, don't waste time on the feature.

6) Is this a forward step?
– Again, does this feature move the company forward in a positive manner?
– Will it help us in the future?

7) Will it generate new engagement?
– If you add this feature, will you get more sign-ons... or people to upgrade?
This is a hard one to understand completely because usually it's the sales team pushing for the feature.

8) If it succeeds, can we support it?

These 8 questions will help you create better products and features for your business and your customers.

Remember, we need to define problems before creating software solutions. This takes time and effort. (The finished product always looks easy).

Your product should solve problems. And, to do this successfully, you need to understand the problem.