5 tips when prioritizing feature requests
1. Consider your product’s vision and whether it aligns with the feature request.
As you’re prioritizing features, keep in mind that the vision of your product is an essential component of your product strategy. Your vision statement should be clear and concise. It should clearly describe what it is you want to achieve with your product or service, and why.
You can use this information to help inform decisions about which feature requests are more important than others—which ones will help achieve your company's goal? If a request doesn't align with the company's goals or vision, then it's not likely something that should make its way onto the roadmap.
2. Assess the customer demand for the feature request.
How much customer demand is there for the feature request?
Customer demand is important because it shows how many people want a feature, and how useful it would be. High-demand features are more likely to be prioritized than low-demand ones. Some companies use surveys, while others ask customers directly through their product forums or social media channels. If you don't have access to any of these methods, try thinking about why someone might request this feature—is it something they need? Is it something they think would help them achieve their goals with your product? Or do they just think that adding something new would be fun? These questions can help determine whether there is enough customer interest in making the change happen sooner rather than later.
3. Look at competitor products that have similar features to the one being requested.
To prioritize your product roadmap, look at competitor products that have similar features to the one being requested. Consider the following questions:
- How does this feature position us competitively?
- Is it a popular feature among our current and potential customers?
- Is this something people are asking for from other products in the market?
Often you can find answers to these questions in app stores, forums, and review sites.
4. Judge whether the feature adds value to your product or if it would be redundant.
First and foremost, you need to consider the value of a feature for your customers. How will it improve their experience? Is there a gap in their current capabilities that this feature can fill? If so, then maybe it’s worth pursuing.
If you think that this new feature would add value to your product but doesn’t seem like something customers would be excited about—that is also worth considering. Perhaps you could add another layer of functionality or make it easier to use than similar features in other products on the market.
You should also take into account how adding this new capability would impact other parts of your business: would it free up resources within your company? Or perhaps by developing this new capability, you can position yourself as an industry leader in some way? This may not always be entirely measurable (aside from increased customer retention), but if there are any tangible benefits associated with implementing the new project, they should be included as part of its total value proposition.
5. Consider the long-term costs and complexities of adding a feature.
At first glance, a new feature may sound like a great idea and addition to your product and it may still be. But before you take the leap on a feature, think through and discuss with your software developers about the long-term costs and complexities that are inherited with this feature.
Every new feature will make your product a little more complex both from a user perspective, but also from a developer perspective. Overcome the tendency to just add features, consider what features that you can subtract.
There are many ways to evaluate feature requests, but you should always weigh them against your company’s goals and overall roadmap.
There are many ways to evaluate feature requests, but you should always weigh them against your company’s goals and overall roadmap. For example, if a customer suggests a feature that will help them in their current situation, but it doesn’t align with the product vision or strategic goals of your company, it might not be worth prioritizing at this time. In this case, it might be better for you to let the customer know along with an alternative solution.
At the end of the day, it is up to you as a product manager (and team) to make these decisions based on what is best for your product and customers/users.
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