Avoid Feature Frenzy

29. January 2015 0
Avoid Feature Frenzy

I am fortunate to sit in many product strategy meetings. The majority of these meetings usually focus around adding functional features. However, there are those rare occasions when the following issues are discussed:

  • “I saw Billy using our app. I could not believe it took him 5 steps to get to it. We should fix that.”
  • “I saw Jena struggling with the reporting. What can we do to improve”
  • “I used our competitors’ product, and I loved how focused their feature set looked. We should look at it.”

Discussions like the above are driven by customers pain points. The team’s priorities shift to solving for what the customer actually needs instead of just adding a shiny new feature on the product roadmap. Unfortunately, most product roadmap meetings are driven by assumptions or by gut decision making rather than from true product discovery. To avoid that common pitfall, the first activity before any product strategy or roadmap meeting is to have teams actually go ahead and spend time with customers and use competitor’s products.

As an added benefit, pain point driven teams also have much better relationship with technology teams. There is a stronger partnership in driving customer focused product development where typically the following questions are asked:

  • What features can we sunset?
  • How can we minimize the complexity of the feature?
  • What would it take to improve the offline experience?
  • Are there ways we can eliminate our technical debt?
  • Will this improve performance?

While adding features is cool, high performing teams understand that solving real pain points are the recipe to accelerate product market fit fastest.

If you’d like to learn more about how to avoid feature frenzy, and position your team for success.

Written by Gunjan Doshi

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