Features : Value vs Cost

When you create a product, you’re probably discussing a lot about features. Here are a few possible questions :

Where should we put that button ?

Who should get access to that feature ?

How should we introduce that new feature (blog post, tutorials, …) ?

How should we implement that feature ?

There are probably much more questions you can ask yourself when you think you’re going to implement a feature.

However, one question that is essential and often not asked is the following one :

Should we add this new feature at all?

I think most of  the time, the answer should be No.

This is because how costly features are. I have tried to set up a few questions that you can ask yourself the next time you’re thinking about a new feature, to help you balance the value/costs of a feature.

Value

  • Will your customers use that feature often, or is it very useful even if it is not used very often ?
  • Does your software sell better if the feature is present ?
  • Will the feature benefit to many customers ?
  • Are you the only one to provide that value ?

Costs

  • How long will it take for you to develop that feature ?
  • Are there bugs in your software that you will take longer to fix because you will be busy working on the new feature ?
  • Are there pending support tickets that will still be pending because of the new feature development ?
  • Will the feature you’re building increase complexity ?
  • Is it easy to drop that feature if it doesn’t fit to the customers needs ?
  • What will be the cost of maintaining that feature ?
  • Is the new feature likely to add a security leak ?

Hope that helps !

 

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