PM: Ep #2: Why removing product features is as important as building new ones?
PMs should not only know how to build new products, features, and capabilities but also when to remove them from the product.
The goal of a product manager is to build and grow products that deliver consistent value to customers.
It requires not only building new capabilities and features but also removing them.
When features start to confuse customers, deviate from your product strategy, or cease to offer that minimum value, it’s probably time to kill them.
So: killing features is as important as building them.
The decision to remove product features can be difficult because no matter how small or insignificant the feature is, there’s always one or two people who use it and like it. The risk of killing a feature is that you might make those people unhappy.
But there’s a net benefit: by killing some features used by a small minority of your customers you can improve the user experience for the majority of the customers. These are the types of decisions that Product Managers have to make in order to build successful products.
But if Product Managers don't have a framework for making these tough decisions, they end up building complex and bulky products. We often see this happen in enterprise software.
So, let’s lay out some questions PMs should ask themselves when deciding on what features to keep or kill:
- Does this feature align with core product value or product strategy?
- Does this feature solve an important problem for the customer?
- Does this feature fit well in your product flow? How does this feature impact customer experience?
- Does this feature work properly or does it cause too many issues for customers and customer support teams?
- How often is the feature used by your customers? How many customers are using the feature regularly?
- Does this feature consistently enhance the user experience and deliver value to the customer?
- What is the technical cost of maintaining this feature? Does the cost outweigh the customer benefit and/or business outcome?
These are just a few questions to consider. Every product is different, and it’s important to consider the context when making major product decisions.
But the truth is, you can make your product better by killing product features.
Checkout my course on How to Conduct Customer Interviews