Who Is Requesting This Feature Anyway?

I found myself in several meetings this week hearing the phrase “This is a highly requested feature”.

I heard it so often, that I was almost able to pinpoint the exact moment it would be said in a conversation. Each time I heard it, a new question popped into my mind for the person who said it. By now, I have quite the list of questions built out when I hear it again.

  1. Highly requested by who?
    1. Current users?
    2. Prospective users?
    3. Users we had but lost?
    4. Investors?
    5. Senior management?
    6. All of the above?
    7. People who will never use the product?
  2. How many people did we gather these requests from? 50% sounds quite high but if that’s 50% of 10 people and your user base is 100,000 that’s only 0.005% of users requesting it.
  3. What’s the impact to the business from this request from a:
    1. Financial perspective - gains or losses
    2. Customer perspective - helping them to achieve their business goals
    3. Technical perspective - how complex will the solution be to build
    4. Collaboration perspective - how many teams will need to work together on the solution and how will the solution fit in with each of their roadmaps and priorities?

I’m sure more questions will pop up as I hear this phrase again. The trick with asking them is all in the framing.

Who is really requesting this feature? And do we as a business care?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about this!