Product management glosary


What is Features?

Features are the individual functionalities, characteristics, or components of a product or service that provide value to users and differentiate it from competitors. In product management, features are essential building blocks that contribute to the overall user experience and determine the success of a product in the market. In this article, we will explore the concept of features, their importance, and how they are managed in the product development process.

Importance of Features

Features play a crucial role in the success of a product for several reasons:

  • Value creation: Features provide value to users by solving their problems, fulfilling their needs, or enhancing their experience with the product.
  • Differentiation: Unique and innovative features can set a product apart from its competitors and help establish a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Market positioning: The combination of features in a product helps define its market positioning and target audience, which is essential for marketing and sales efforts.
  • User retention: Well-designed features that meet user expectations can contribute to user satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased user retention and long-term success.

Feature Management in Product Development

Managing features effectively is a critical aspect of product management. This involves several key steps:

  1. Idea generation: Product managers, along with other stakeholders such as designers, engineers, and users, brainstorm and gather ideas for potential features that could be added to the product.
  2. Prioritization: Not all feature ideas can be implemented due to resource constraints and other factors. Product managers must prioritize features based on factors such as user needs, business goals, and technical feasibility.
  3. Design and development: Once features are prioritized, they must be designed and developed by the product team. This involves creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, as well as writing code and testing the functionality.
  4. Release and evaluation: After development, features are released to users, either as part of a new product launch or as an update to an existing product. Product managers must then evaluate the success of the features based on user feedback, usage data, and other metrics to determine if they are meeting their intended goals.
  5. Iteration and improvement: Based on the evaluation, product managers may decide to iterate on the features, making improvements or adjustments as needed to better meet user needs and achieve business goals.

Feature Types

Features can be broadly categorized into the following types:

  • Core features: These are the essential features that define the product and provide its primary value proposition. They are critical to the product's success and must be carefully designed and executed.
  • Enhancement features: These features build upon the core features to improve the overall user experience and add value to the product. They may not be essential for the product to function but can contribute to user satisfaction and differentiation.
  • Competitive features: These features are specifically designed to address the strengths of competing products or to exploit their weaknesses. They can help establish a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Experimental features: These features are innovative and untested ideas that may or may not resonate with users. They can be used to explore new market opportunities or to test the viability of new concepts before committing significant resources to their development.

In conclusion, features are an essential aspect of product management, as they determine the value and success of a product in the market. By understanding the importance of features and effectively managing their development, product managers can create products that meet user needs, stand out from the competition, and achieve long-term success.