I’m sure we all have dealt with business stakeholders that want it all in the next version... This idea was well captured in the image below copied from a presentation by Dan Rawsthorne (Net Objectives):

 

But did you know research shows that 60% of features you build into your applications are not used by customers (source: presentation by Hubert Smits with Rally Software)? 

 

In the old days the better project managers would categorize features as “must-have” and “nice-to-have”…  With the agile development processes being adopted at an ever increasing rate, a new word was invented and rapidly spread as a way to differentiate between a wanted feature and an essential one -- “Desirements”.

 

So, next time you participate in the planning session for the V-Next feature set, remember that what is expressed as a requirement may be just a desirement…  To filter out the real requirements, ask questions to determine if the feature is:

  • Driven by regulatory requirements (e.g. implement by January 1st or face substantial fines)
  • Is necessary to enable new business
  • Is vital to stay competitive within the marketplace
  • Is an enhancement to an existing feature that makes it more usable
  • Minor change that take little time to implement
  • Etc.

 

The bottom line is – try to focus on features with high ROI rather than trying to simply add more features.