Feature prioritization is an essential component of the software development process. However, in case you don't know what feature request is, it's essential to provide you with a definition. In software development, a feature is an element of functionality in software that meets a specific requirement. A feature improves the software product and enables it to meet its intended purpose. A bug, on the other hand, is a software quality that degrades the product. This means that software with a bug does not meet client needs and expectations. Such software must be improved by adding or enhancing its feature(s). Feature prioritization entails selecting the most important aspects of a feature for development. These aspects are the ones that offer value to your clients. In custom software development, it's vital to evaluate the features that are essential to your firm and accord them the priority they deserve. This article explores the various factors to consider when prioritizing feature requests and the main approaches that you should apply.

Factors to consider when prioritizing requests

As a custom software development company, there are various factors that you should consider when prioritizing your feature requests. These include:

Profit - Profit is an essential element that you must consider when deciding on the features to offer priority. In this regard, choose features that are likely to fetch handsome profits for your firm.

Cost - Cost entails the amount of money that you'll apply in developing a feature. You need to evaluate the market demands of the feature and determine whether it's worth investing in it. If the feature is of high demand in the market, it's advisable to invest in its development. Apart from the market demand, it's important to consider your available capital before developing a feature. In this connection, the feature may have high demand, but you don't have the resources to build it. You need to give priority to the development of features that you can afford.

Availability of resources - Resources include the hours, the professional and the infrastructure. When prioritizing your feature requests, ensure that you have the resources needed. For instance, during the month of December, many people travel for a holiday and may not be available to assist in feature development. Therefore, it's crucial to avoid prioritizing your feature development on the month of December when part of your team may not be present.

Technical risk - When prioritizing your feature requests, it's crucial to evaluate the risks that the project may carry. There are a variety of risks such as delays, additional expenses or a feature that may impact on other software adversely. You need to analyze each of your feature requests and determine those with minimal risks. Feature requests carrying many risks may overwhelm your team and emotionally drain them.

Team risk - When prioritizing feature requests, it's essential to evaluate the risk your team carries. In case you're rejecting the team's idea, you need to explain to them clearly why the idea is not viable.

Team value - For a company engaged in custom software development services, it's essential to request the team to test the value of the software that it's created. These tests help to determine whether there are any additional features that are required to make the product more appealing.

Feature Prioritization frameworks

The feature prioritization methods are important because they help in understanding how to prioritize feature requests. There are various frameworks that are used, as explained below.

Kano model

This is a product building model that helps you to understand how to enhance client satisfaction. The model enables you to decide the features that you can add to your software as per client needs and expectations. According to this framework, there are five categories of clients. These include:

Basic - Clients expect these basic needs and take them for granted. Clients realize that importance of these requirements when a product fails.

Performance - These features are associated with the way the product performs tasks. Clients derive high satisfaction from the product if it performs well.

Excitement - These features delight clients, although they never expected then to be part of the product. Clients may not complain a lot in case these features may fail to work.

Indifferent - The clients do not have any say about features under this category. The clients are just neutral about them.

Reverse - Clients are not satisfied with reverse features.

RICE Score Model

The framework is applied in the evaluation of concepts and priorities. The acronym RICE means Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort.

Reach - This is a measurement of the number of people the feature affects within a specified time.

Impact - This amplifies the amount of qualitative and quantitative influence that your decision has.

Confidence - You may have enough confidence that the feature is impactful to many people but lack information to support your case. Therefore, you can utilize your confidence to argue for the prioritization of the feature.

Effort - The amount of effort required when creating the feature should be considered. A feature that requires more efforts should be given priority because of its high value to the client.

MoSCoW Method

This prioritization method is applied when involving major decision-makers in the product creation process. The method indicates the priority of the decision-makers and the customers as well. The acronym MoSCoW stands for Must have, Should have, and won't have. The above-mentioned aspects are prioritization categories. In the acronym, the o does not have any meaning but assists in memorization of the acronym.

Must have - These features must be present in the product to enable it to run.

Should have - These features are equally important but not as critical as the must have ones.

Could have - These features make the product more appealing and create a memorable experience to the client. The features can be added to the product if time and resources are available.

Won't have - These are not central features of a product and must not be given priority.


Feature prioritization request is a critical aspect of any software development company. This article has offered insights on the factors that should be considered in feature request prioritization. Additionally, the piece has elaborated on the methods that are used to make decisions on which feature requests to give priority.

Author's Bio: 

I am Kuldeep Kundal, CMO at expertsfromindia.com, a trademark of Cyber Infrastructure (P) Limited (CIS), India. Being inquisitive, I love to share my views on technology trends and management strategies. Since your website also holds the same interest in sharing knowledge on diverse fields, I would be highly obliged if you can publish my blogs on your website.