Thursday, October 4, 2018

Feature Prioritization multi-dimensional technique

In my coaching engagements, I use a Feature prioritization technique based on five dimensions.
1.       Desirability in the Market
2.       Technical Risk
3.       Impact on Existing
4.       Urgency
5.       Feature Lifecycle

1.       Desirability in the Market: If you are following feature slicing technique, then initial feature is broken down into multiple small features. (Ref: Feature Slicing technique – Inspired from Lean Startup). These small features need to be constantly evaluated for release depending upon market response. Market desirability is measured on a five step scale:
a.       Must Have
b.      Should Have
c.       Could Have
d.      It doesn’t matter
e.      Do we need it?

2.       Technical Risk: Implementation of a feature always poses a technical risk. This risk might be severe or negligible depending upon capacity and capabilities of people on the keyboard. Technical risk is measured on five step scale.
a.       Commodity
b.      Done Before
c.       Known but Not Done Before
d.      Heard about it
e.      Unknown

3.       Impact on Existing: What is the impact of addition of this feature in the product? You should consider impact in business as well as technical spheres. The impact varies from catastrophic (We need to re write a big chunk of code) to none. Delay Impact is measured on five step scale:
a.       None
b.      Negligible
c.       Standard
d.      Major
e.      Catastrophic

4.       Urgency: Can you delay the release of this feature? The urgency to release a feature is measured on five step scale:
a.       Needed as of Yesterday
b.      Needed by tomorrow
c.       Standard
d.      Can start tomorrow
e.      Not in hurry
5.       Feature Life Cycle State:  A Feature can have life cycle independent of product life cycle state.  To incorporate life cycle state of feature, a five step scale is used:
a.       Thriving
b.      Growing Slowly
c.       Early signs of stagnation
d.      Stagnant
e.      Sun Setting
To incorporate all of five dimensions, I use radar chart

A Feature having maximum area has higher priority.

I find this technique most compelling when used with Feature categorization techniques such as Kano or MoSCoW models.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Feature Slicing technique – Inspired from Lean Startup

Features are chunks of functionality which delivers value. Though teams work with stories but Features form the bed rock for those stories. A Feature adheres to following criteria:

•    It provides business value;
•    It is estimable;
•    It is small enough to fit into couple of sprints; and
•    It is testable from engineering perspective as well as market perspective.

The first and last criteria provide an interesting perspective if you combine them with Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and Minimal Viable Addition (MVA).

To realize an MVP, you are implementing multiple features partially.  

 With the success of MVP, you certainly want to augment the functionality to already released MVP. This addition, I like to call as Minimal Viable Addition (MVA). As with MVP, MVA also consists of many features in parts.

So the marketable product after first MVA release is:

Let’s generalize a feature. A Feature consists of MVP part as well as MVA parts.

Hurray! You have a new technique for slicing the Features. 

This technique essentially allows you to deliver the value in smaller chunks which reduces the market risk as well as early realization of value.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Is your cat Agile?

Spastic Cat: A cat on a hot tin roof - jumping every every where but not resulting in any outcome.

Catatonic cat: A cat on a tree - just sitting at a fixed place, refusing to move due to fear. Again no outcome.

Agile cat - A cat moving gracefully and ready to jump on next hunt.