Even with all the mental crunching and dedication of
various members of a team to get a feature from concept to reality, there’s
always something unexpected about actually releasing it into the wild. How do
you know you’re ready to let that feature fly free?
I recently saw this question posted as an interview question for prospective product management candidates: Give me 13 reasons why you'd release a feature.
It’s definitely a great question that would be able to uncover how one perceives product quality, prioritization and what benchmarks are considered prior to that big moment. I won’t give 13, but I’ll give my top five.
Here’s my list:
- I want to fail fast in order to learn. Even when we’ve vetted that there is in fact a problem that we can build something to solve it, there’s nothing like getting it out in the hands of those who could benefit from it. I’d want to know as quickly as possible if what was envisioned isn’t cutting it with the market, so that the team could proactively make improvements.
- The feature would fill a usability gap: If we have functionalities A and B, but it’s just not clear to users how to interact with either then A and B are useless. If one minor adjustment can improve that experience, lets do it!
- It’s been a customer enhancement request that I’ve been able to validate would be meaningful to a large share of our current customer base and target market.
- There is a large industry event coming up that I’d like to demo the base functionality for. It’s a critical feature that many believe is a game-changer, so we want that strong visibility.
- It’s the right thing. This might be repetitive of the reasoning I provided in #1, but think of how many features are never used — how many amazingly intelligent people often bring there minds together and build something that was is a complete waste of time and never provides any profit or value. Despite all the logic and research, sometimes we are just wrong. Sometimes we build something because we can and not because we should. We always have to try our best to steer clear of that.
What’s your list?