When you’re in that stage of building your product, you may find yourself falling into one of the traps, such as: One-more-Feature.
You want nothing but to be perfect, and you’re thinking of all the cool features that would help to achieve this perfection, and so the list keeps growing and growing... You know what they say:
When everything is important, nothing is important.
If you elicit a long list with dozens of wants features: from small to large, from simple to complex, from usual to unique, how can you know where to start? How do you filter all of the features and assemble the minimum, enough to verify your idea?
There are features that are certain must-haves but there are some that will be totally pointless. And prioritizing the features for your minimum viable product is the key to escape from the chaos in your head. 🗝️
Feature prioritization for your minimum viable product is the most important decision you will make in the development process. So, in this article, we will explain how to achieve this.
How to pick your MVP features
Choosing the right features for your MVP can't be impulsive and intuitive, but precisely defined. We know that this process can be tricky but fun and it's totally worth it. While you may think that you have sorted all things, detailing it actually takes a lot of work and effort, such as discussions with developers and experts.
After you figure out the problem your product is solving and who your target will be, it’s time to analyze your competitors and what your potential users like in their products. See what functionality the competition is offering and what users might feel is missing in their product. Don’t skip the market research! This will help you with your further development, and result in a long list of desired features.
Design Sprint is a fantastic way to point a problem and gain people's feedback on a solution to that problem. In a 5-day workshop, a team with experts explores a problem, simulate design thinking, creates a prototype, and gains feedback from users on that prototype. This fun and magical whirlwind process help you uncover new solutions and open new horizons for your product.
Post-Sprint the teams can be left with a long list of features. But luckily you’ve been armed with valuable information which helps you much easier to plan the entire process.
Product feature prioritization methods
Wants vs. Needs
For this method, you need a crystal clear picture between what the user wants and what the user needs. We are already said that user experience and feedback are very important for your MVP. Sometimes you may find in the scenario where early adopters prefer cool and unique functionalities, but in reality, that is not vital for the product at an early stage. Of course, you can keep and implement them for version 2.0 or for further development. By avoiding implementing too many non-essential features too soon you are making a very smart move. This will save you valuable time and money. Otherwise, you will be forced to sacrifice the needed features. That is going to result in harming your MVP and lead you astray from its overall purpose of product validation.
Suggested by many famous project managers and product owners, this product development method is the most usual and quickest way of validating features. For prioritizing into feature buckets you split the list of features into 3 groups, sometimes 4 or 5.
- Must have (Metric Movers). These features are intended to positively affect the main KPIs of the product. The success or failure of your product will be judged by the KPIs, so this bucket is essential in the interest of reaching product goals.
- Nice to have (Delights). Features that increase people's satisfaction, such as attractive and cool animations, leaderboards, entertaining elements, etc.
- Not needed (User requests). These features are actively requested by users, but are not intended to solve their principal problem. They are minor and attractive features, such as unique and funny sticker packs or emojis.
It's a very rare scenario, but don't get confused as some features may fall into 3 buckets. But, evade it where one of the buckets has no features in it. This likely illustrates the issue with your innovative ability, product performance, or the gathering and interpretation of user feedback. These issues can cause both short-term and long-term problems, and threaten the project's success. A balanced approach would result in an MVP with features from all buckets.
This is another prioritization method used in agile product development and involves splitting all features into 4 logical categories:
- (M) Must Have are features that are very essential for building your MVP. Without these features, the product may face some legal or regulatory challenges. Also, intended to give the product its fundamental value to users.
- (S) Should Have features are second to 'must-haves' in the order of importance. Тhey brings great value from the user experience aspect. And their absence won't have a high impact on your MVP.
- (C) Could Have features are the cute little add-ons. But no matter how exciting, attractive, and interesting they are, don’t rush to include them in the early product version.
- (W) Won’t Have are the features that you’re absolutely sure you won’t implement in your MVP, but in the final version of your product.
Different methods have different approaches and involve differing perspectives. Deciding what method to use and conducting it yourself could be overwhelming, which is where product development companies like CodeChem are more than happy to jump in and assist.
COMING UP NEXT:
The differences between a prototype and an MVP.