Shreyas Doshi: 10 Questions Product Managers Should Ask When Evaluating a New Feature
Product feedback and design critiques are great opportunities to ask questions about new features. Start with these 10 questions to zero-in on the value your new feature brings to its intended user.
Shreyas Doshi has seen his fair share of products. The PM-turned-advisor-turned-teacher has built and launched products for Yahoo!, Google, Twitter, and Stripe. In a leadership position, Shreyas often provides feedback to his colleagues about new features and products they’re launching.
To sharpen his feedback, Shreyas starts with these 10 questions:
1. What is the user need?
This question is crucial in identifying the underlying problem that the feature is intended to solve. It helps to establish the purpose of the feature and ensure it aligns with the overall product goals and objectives.
Ask: "What specific pain points or challenges are our users facing that this feature aims to address?"
2. Why is it important to solve?
Understanding the urgency and importance of solving a user need is critical in prioritizing and allocating resources for the product roadmap. It also helps to align stakeholders and ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
Ask: "Why is this particular user need important to solve now, and how does it impact our overall product strategy?"
3. What are the expected solutions?
Brainstorming and evaluating possible solutions to the user's needs is a crucial step in the product development process. It helps to generate ideas and explore different possibilities, and also helps to identify any potential roadblocks or challenges.
Ask: "What are the different solutions we could consider for this user need, and how do they align with our product goals?"
4. What are the unexpected solutions?
Sometimes, the most innovative and effective solutions come from unexpected places. Encouraging and exploring unconventional ideas can lead to unique and impactful product features.
Ask: "What are some out-of-the-box solutions we could explore for this user need?"
5. What are the known pros/cons of each?
Evaluating the pros and cons of each solution helps to make informed decisions and select the best option. It also helps to identify any potential risks or challenges that need to be addressed.
Ask: "What are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution, and how do they weigh against each other?
6. What do we still not know?
Identifying what is still unknown helps to prioritize and plan for further exploration. It also helps to ensure that all critical information is taken into account before pushing the new feature live and building on it.
Ask: "What are the key unknowns we need to address before we can fully evaluate and launch this feature?"
7. How do we make it known?
Ensuring that all relevant stakeholders and teams are informed and have the necessary information is crucial for successful product development. It helps to align everyone and ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
Ask: "How can we ensure that all relevant teams and stakeholders are informed and have the necessary information to support the development of this feature?"
8. What are the risks?
Identifying and addressing potential risks is crucial in ensuring the success of the feature. It helps to anticipate and plan for potential roadblocks or challenges, and helps to mitigate any negative impact.
Ask: "What are the potential risks associated with this feature, and how can we mitigate them?"
9. How will we mitigate the risks?
Developing a plan to mitigate the identified risks is critical in ensuring the success of the feature. It helps to proactively address potential challenges and minimize any negative impact.
Ask: "What are our plans for mitigating the identified risks associated with this feature?"
10. How will we assess progress & results?
Establishing clear metrics and KPIs helps to measure the success of the feature and identify areas for improvement. It also helps to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal and is aligned on what success looks like.
Ask: "What metrics and KPIs will we use to assess the success of this feature, and how will we track and measure progress over time?"
Asking these 10 questions when evaluating a new product feature can help product managers make informed decisions, prioritize resources, and ensure the success of the feature. It also helps to align stakeholders, anticipate and mitigate risks, and measure progress and results. By taking the time to consider each of these questions, product managers can ensure that their products are delivering the best possible value to users and meeting the overall product goals and objectives.
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