Feature Card

This article was written with my friend and colleague Yasmina B.

We recently read Neil Williams article about using roadmaps within the UK government. In this article we discovered a very smart and simple tool for managing the development of our product’s features: the Feature Card.

uk_feature_card

The Feature Card is not a User Story or something like this. In fact, a feature may be developed through one or many user stories. Its intent is different, unlike user stories, the features help stakeholders to get the big picture of your product.

What we really like about this card is how it is simple to point out every contributors who would be involved in the feature’s development. This also help you to explain to your product’s sponsors or your managers why a feature will be hard to deliver or not.

But a feature name is not always enough for everyone to understand the meaning or the scope. So we had the idea to add a simplified Business Model Canvas to the Feature Card for this purpose. We used the one you can find in the Adobe’s Kickbox as the model.

BMC_Feature_Card

As the original version, this Feature Card stands on a folded sheet. On the front side, you’ll find the feature title and its dependencies, on the back side you’ll find space for conversations. When you unfold the sheet you’ll have access to our simplified Business Model Canvas.

There is the list of sections you can find on our canvas:

  • Problem: a simple description of the problem you intent to solve with this feature.
  • Target Users: list the kind of users your feature will touch.
  • Minimum Acceptable Solution: describe what is the minimum solution (think MVP) you will deliver in the worst case scenario (lack of time or budget).
  • Measuring Success: list metrics you will use to measure the success of your feature.
  • Estimated Efforts: just an estimation of the effort that will be necessary to deliver the feature (feel free to use your favorite estimation tool).
  • Expected Benefits: describe what kind of benefits the feature will be deliver.

So, with this canvas added to the Feature Card everyone will be able to understand the meaning of the feature for the product and the users.