Discover the Features

22 February 2022

This page is part of The Lean Inception article series

A feature is a description of an interaction of a user with the product or some other action that the product can perform. Examples include: print invoice, see detailed statement, and invite facebook friends.

The description of a feature should be as simple as possible. We start with something the user trying to do, we then consider a feature the product should have to support that task.

How we do it

Since we have already described the personas and the main objectives of the product, we can use the following activity to discover features.

  1. Put the product goals as column titles on a common feature canvas. Prioritize these goals from left to right, high to low.
  2. Put the personas as row titles in priority order from top (high) to bottom (low).
  3. Everyone suggests features and places them on the table. Use the personas and goals to guide the discussion. The key question is “what does the product need to do so that this persona reaches this goal”.

An example feature canvas.

Although the canvas is similar to a matrix, it won’t necessarily have a feature for each combination of goal and persona. It can have multiple features for one persona to reach one specific goal, as well have personas who don’t need a feature for a certain goal.

If we identify goals and features that don't correspond the needs of any persona, they should be discarded or re-thought, because their value is not clearly linked to a user.

Another example feature canvas.

The Lean Inception
Monday Introduce the inception, kick off, and Write the Product VisionThe product Is – Is not – Does – Does not
TuesdayDescribe the PersonasDiscover the Features
WednesdayTechnical, User eXperience and Business ReviewShow the User Journeys
ThursdayDisplay Features in JourneysSequence the Features
FridayBuild the MVP Canvas Showcase the results of the inception to those interested in the project

This page is an activity of The Lean Inception, for an overview go to the main page.

For more details on how to run a workshop, consult the book.