2020-04-03~2 min

Why you need a single source of truth for features

Software development today already works really well. Over the past decades the tooling and processes improved a lot. Companies and individuals experimented and found new, better ways and we now have big frameworks to lean on. Scrum, Kanban, extreme programming and many more.

There was a lot of investment done and now it’s relatively well known what processes have to be in place to make the engineering division successful.

Since software development already works well and every company already has good processes, a good process is not a competitive advantage any more. To get a competitive edge you need to do something better than your competitors. And that is learning from mistakes at a high level.

Especially B2B software companies invest a lot into prioritization, to work on the most important tasks. And it’s great, it already improves the effectiveness of designers and developers quite a lot.

What is missing in most companies though, and therefore can be a competitive edge for others, is verification that the hypotheses created in the prioritization process held true. That the feature built actually is what users need and has the desired effect on the business.

Best case, it is. But it usually needs to be tweaked, and sometimes even removed again.

Without tweaking and removal of obsolete features, product debt is accrued, which makes it unnecessarily complex and harder to use.
This leads to dissatisfied customers, higher churn and gives new entrants an easy time to snatch up market share (from you).

Solution

Most companies already measure how their products are used with one of the many tracking tools that exist. These tools are designed to show usage for the whole product.

To be able to make accurate decisions about features, you have to have a single source of truth for them. One view that contains all aspects about a feature. Tracking data is important, yes, but it should also contain a general overview, how it fits into the product overall and most importantly, the goals you're trying to achieve with it.

Higher user satisfaction, less churn, higher quality support requests, more revenue.

Not every metric relevant for a feature can be directly measured. Some are qualitative. To get a complete picture it's highly important to capture that data too, not just proxy metrics.

With such a complete picture, all relevant information in one view, it'll then be a lot easier to decide how to continue with a specific feature. Leave it as it is, improve it, or remove it again.

Right now there's no such tool. Nothing that puts the feature in the foreground and puts product managers into the driving seat.

Nothing that helps tackle product debt.

We are building featureview to solve that. To get a single source of truth for features. One view that contains all information.

We are right at the beginning now, if you're interested in our progress sign up below.