How to Manage and Write Feature Requests?

Manage and Write Feature Requests

What are Feature Requests?

Feature requests are a great way to get the community involved in your product and give them a sense of ownership. 

What happens, though, when you get too many feature requests? 

With the relatively new ability to respond to your users and customers, feature requests are a great idea and they can help drive your product in the right direction, but they can also be a nightmare if you’re not careful. 

And it’s not just a matter of having too many feature requests, it’s also a matter of having feature requests that are good versus bad. You need a solid plan or you can easily get lost in the weeds of what is a good feature request versus a bad one.

In other words, A feature request is a request for a new feature to be added to a product or project. It can be as simple as a bug fix or as complex as a new feature. 

It may be that the user wants to see a particular feature added, or they may want to see a completely new product, but the request template is the same. 

Types of Feature Requests

Feature requests are one of the most challenging elements of software development, especially when it comes to free software. Feature requests are a lot more than simply “suggestions.” 

They are a reflection of the user’s needs, wants desires, and overall level of satisfaction with the product. The challenge is to filter the requests that will benefit the majority of your users from the requests that will only benefit a few. 

In the end, you have to weigh the benefit against the cost – how much time and money will it take to implement the feature? How many other features will you have to cut? How many users will benefit from the feature? How many users will not benefit?

Following are some of the types:

Proposing a bug fix.

End-users file bug reports when they meet something that isn’t functioning as expected or in the way they feel it should. 

According to recent data, more than 60% of B2B end-users use SaaS applications regularly to do business, and when a bug occurs, it can be disastrous for their company.

Requests for new capabilities

There are fresh feature requests as well. Even if your product is running smoothly, users may occasionally require a completely new feature. 

End-users make these requests when they want more value from your product or when they’ve found a new problem that your product hasn’t yet solved.

Suggestions for product improvement

User feedback showing methods to improve existing capability, either by boosting usability or changing existing workflows, is referred to as product improvement requests. 

Users typically offer product improvement suggestions because they believe their input will be beneficial to your company.

How to write a feature request?

Feature requests are best when they’re brief, clear, and to the point. Think of it like a short email message: even if you’re writing to someone you know well, it’s best to get right to the point. 

Feature requests are a great way to give your input on the products you use, and sometimes they can lead to a better product.

Make sure the request is both genuine and unique before submitting it. Many feature requests are incomplete or incorrect in some way. 

Usually, that’s because the product already does what the customer wants (albeit in a different module), or the user doesn’t comprehend the product and hasn’t received training.

  • Please double-check that this is a feature request, not a bug report or a “how-to” query.
  • Remove all boilerplate from your feature request because it is distracting and makes it tough to read fast.
  • Attempt to craft a feature request that is simple to understand. Complete, grammatically correct sentences. It takes time and effort to craft a well-written feature request. It’s not easy to explain the use-case and request to a reader who has little to no background knowledge. Take some quiet time to think things over and do it well, and you will be rewarded for your efforts.
  • Don’t assume the reader knows what you’re talking about; be thorough but leave out unnecessary details. It’s easy to overlook context because you already know it so well; but, the SME triaging the request is unlikely to be aware of it.
  • Describe the user’s business purpose and the barriers that are preventing them from achieving it, it’s not how the item should be delivered. We may have a better or different means to achieve the same aim, but we’ll never know if the objective is unclear.
  • Be truthful while determining the criticality. Yes, we’d all prefer that our requests are always prioritized. However, be truthful and assist us in prioritizing. Nothing is urgent if everything is urgent.

How to prioritize feature request?

Feature requests are often the bane of all software development teams. You get feature requests from your users and you want to implement them because they make your product better, but they can be a time sink. 

It’s incredibly hard to decide what to work on next when you could be building a new product feature or fixing a bug, but you still have to take into account the needs of your users. 

If you don’t prioritize your feature requests, you end up with a bunch of new features that no one wants and the occasional user who likes a feature that you don’t care about.

It’s crucial to prioritize the proper features, but it’s also tough. In hundreds of interactions with product leaders, its important in understanding what to create and what to develop next— it is a big part of the art and science of creating a great product.

Feature prioritization is the process of determining the order in which your team will work on items based on the product roadmap. Because you only have so much time and money, and there are so many potential features, it’s critical to prioritize features.

Asking customer for feature request

When you are in business, it is important to listen to your customers and to do whatever you can to satisfy their needs. 

You can’t always be sure what your customers are looking for or what they would like to see in the future. One of the ways that you can find out about this is to pay attention to what they are asking for. 

When you ask your customers for feedback or tell them that you are open to suggestions, you are inviting them to make suggestions. This is a great way to get new ideas as well as to improve your business.

There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but we prefer the following method:

Step 1: Define your business objectives.

Step 2: Sort the feature requests into categories depending on the needs of your most significant clients.

Step 3: Prioritize based on other important factors.

Step 4: Set a budget for development.

Step 5: Pick the features you want and double-check them with other stakeholders.

Responding to a feature request

Getting a feature request is a good way to get an idea of future improvements. You can then prioritize these requests based on what kind of results they can get. 

You can also monitor your competitors to see if they are improving their products and implement those same features into your own. 

Building a product is a lot like building a house. You build it brick by brick, one at a time. But you don’t want to just throw everything in a pile. 

You want to build a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing house. However, it is not just about the building itself. 

You also need to build it in a way that people want to live in it. You need to ask for feedback, and you need to ask for the feedback of your users as mentioned above.

Anyone who has ever owned or operated a website or business knows all about feature requests. 

Customers will always have ideas for how you could make your business better, and oftentimes they want you to implement those ideas right away. However, It all depends on how you respond to them. 

You need to respond in a way that shows that you are taking the feature request seriously and that you will get back to the user once you have the time to look into it. However, a feature request can be almost anything. 

People often make requests when they want something changed about your business. It could be as small as wanting a new button on your website, or as large as wanting you to completely rebrand.

Managing feature requests

Let’s face it. If you develop software, you will get feature requests. Some feature requests will be well thought out and valuable. Others won’t be. 

Managing feature requests is tricky, especially when you are in the middle of a project. When you get a feature request, it is important to deal with it and manage it properly. 

This can be difficult if you are in the middle of a project and are already tasked with a lot of work. 

1. Gather everything in one location.

When it comes to organizing feature requests, the most critical issue is organization.

2. Establish a system to receive and manage feature requests.

If your consumers have an organized manner to contact you, they will feel much more comfortable emailing you their ideas and feature requests. 

3. Respond in a personal, timely, and honest manner.

When a customer submits a feature request, one of the most unpleasant things that may happen is that it is ignored or that they receive a normal email in response. Rather than employing automated responses, it is worthwhile to take the time to react individually. 

Customers will be a lot happier to use your product if you let them know you are engaged in their feedback. It’s also crucial to be truthful in your responses.

4. Sort the requests into categories and prioritize them.

It’s critical to categorize requests if you’re going to handle a significant number of them.

5. Talk to your coworkers and other customers about the requests.

You have the final word on what gets created and what doesn’t like the product manager. However, you don’t have to allow your bias to get in the way. 

Even if you believe something will be extremely beneficial, it is critical to get multiple perspectives. Before proceeding with development, it is highly recommended that you discuss the demands with your coworkers and solicit feedback from other consumers.

6. Maintain contact with customers.

Even if you’ve already provided an initial response, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with your consumers and update them on any developments.

7. Create a public roadmap so that your customers are aware of your progress.

This may encourage clients to send more targeted requests that are in line with your objectives rather than a slew of odd suggestions that clog up your inbox.

What is a feature request system?

A feature request system is a great way to get feedback from users about how they would like to see your site improved. 

A frequent question for webmasters is “How can I get users to give me feedback about my site?” The answer is a feature request system. 

A feature request system is a place on the website where users can go to request features. These features will then be reviewed by the team, and then can decide to implement the features. This will allow  to get a valuable feedback from the users about how they would like to see the site improved. 

The most important thing to remember about a feature request system is to make it clear that the users are creating an actual request. This means that their feature request will be reviewed by you and your team. This will help to prevent spam and keep user requests organized. 

The easiest way to implement a feature request system on your site is to use a third-party service. This way, you don’t have to worry about any coding and can focus on implementing your users’ feature requests.

Putting it all together

Good feature requests will help your business tremendously. Bad ones will cost you time, money, and effort for sure.

If you are particularly struggling with prioritizing features, check out Chisel and make the most of our prioritization matrix. Try our free version today!

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