Whether it be from the general user base, some key customers, or the sales team, product managers always get requests for new product features. Sometimes they have a specific need that they want to fill, and sometimes they just want more features for the sake of more features. Since you’re being pulled in so many different directions, it can be hard to determine what your product needs and what is worth the investment. But don’t worry any longer because you can quickly figure out what product features are worth pursuing with these three simple questions.
Does this feature support the business objectives?
The quickest way to determine if a proposed feature is worth considering is to ask yourself this question. If the feature doesn’t support the business objective, does it support the product vision? Does it do both, one or neither of those things? If it does neither, then why waste time on it? A business objective could be to increase sales in order to pay down company debt by the end of Q3. Would adding this feature contribute to satisfying that objective?
Does this feature support the product vision?
If the feature satisfies the 1st question, how well does it meet the product vision? If it is not really meeting the product vision as is, would there be a way to have it satisfy both goals? Can this feature be modified in a way to minimize risk of not meeting the objective and yet still match the product vision? What if it doesn’t satisfy the business objective but the business requires it anyway? How well does it support the product vision of say giving customers a faster, easier and better way to do business with the company? Is there a way to make this work?
What is the value of the feature?
Lastly and most importantly. Does adding this feature produce enough value? Maybe it has the potential to increase the average order value from $50 to $75 per order? Or maybe it fixes a design flaw that was causing a page load delay which resulted in a user bounce rate of 90% before they could add the product to their cart for purchase. Let’s say AOV did increase by 50%. That would be pretty high value toward meeting that business objective of increasing sales. What about fixing the page load problem? If it had the potential to reduce the bounce rate from 90% down to 30% how many more customers would be purchasing the product? How much value is that going to add?
By asking these simple questions, you can quickly determine whether or not to add a requested feature to your product. As a product manager, often you’ll have to make the call on what features will make it in and then sell it to the stakeholders, so it’s always important to ask the right questions.
One last thing, once you’ve identified features worth pursuing, they will need to be prioritized. The easiest way to think of how to do that is to consider which features that might be worth doing will add the most value at the cheapest cost. Start with those and then work your way down from there.