If you are a one man business or a very small team of software developers, prioritizing the development of your product features should be as important as the features you consider to implement.
I would call this the 2 step method. A decisional framework that is simple and efficient.
In this step, you combine three sources of information:
Note down your customers’ wish, and evaluate them. The key is not to pay attention to what they are asking, but WHY they are asking it.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. Henry Ford
Consider your competitors as being the friends you visit once in a while (if they are good friends, you might be visiting them more often).
If your competition has some features you do not have, investigate about them. Try to see stats about their usage.
Some tricks on how to determine the importance of your competition feature:
There are times when no data can help you further in decisions or directions to be taken. When these times occur, learn to listen to your gut feeling. If you feel that a feature is not supported by data, but your gut feeling says there’s something important, you might want to give it a chance. The more you do it, the more you train it and make it more accurate.
You have now a list of the features that you consider important to implement. You may now evaluate all the features by the following criteria.
Consider two characteristics when doing this: Business Value, Customer Value:
From 1 to 10, give each of the two characteristics a mark. After this step, ask yourself: “At this time, is my business in need of Business Value or Customer Value?“. You need to consider now which is more important for your business, to provide more value with the product, or to increase your business value with the current product.
After you have given a mark to all your features, prioritize them either by Business Value, either by Customer Value. As the second dimension of sorting, sort them after the total of those fields.
After you complete this, you have a simple but powerful decision framework on which features to implement on your product at the current time. Let us know what you think and what benefits it brought to you. Subscribe to our newsletter for more ideas on how to grow your software business.