Buy-a-feature is a product development prioritization method where major product stakeholders gather to decide which feature are of most value to them. Buy-a-feature activity is also performed with the customers as well.

Who runs the buy-a-feature activity?

Product managers organize this buy-a-feature activity within their teams as a way to prioritize new product features. The data product managers get from this activity is good enough to assess the value of a feature that the engineering team will spend on building that feature.

How often should buy-a-feature activity be performed?

It is a good practice to run a buy-a-feature activity before planning the quarterly product roadmap. This gives clarity and a solid product roadmap that teams can rely on to achieve their business goals for that quarter.

What value metric to use for buy-a-feature activity?

To make things interesting, fake money is used to spend on buying a feature. Each stakeholder in the meeting is assigned a specific amount of money to spend on buying a feature that’s most valuable for them.

How to organize buy-a-feature activity?

Running a buy-a-feature meeting for your product could be easy when you have the required data to run the meeting. The goal of buy-a-feature meeting is to make an informed decision based on the maximum amount of value that a new feature can add to the customers/stakeholders.

You can run a buy-a-feature meeting in three simple steps:

1. Prepare

Preparing for the buy-a-feature meeting is super crucial. This is the phase where you will need to gather all the information so that your participants are clear on what they are spending their budget on.

  1. List down the features you need the participants to spend on
  2. Set a budget for each participant
  3. Create a buy-a-feature template on Google Sheets
  4. Send our invites for the participants

The above steps should get you prepared for the buy-a-feature meeting. Once done, the next big part of this process comes into play.

2. Run buy-a-feature meeting

If this is the first time running buy-a-feature meeting at your organization, then you need to help the participants out. Talk about what buy-a-feature meeting is all about, how the buy-a-feature meeting works, and answer any queries that your participants might have for you as the meeting host.

Once everyone in the meeting are on the same page, start the activity by letting people spend on the features that are most valuable for them. Observe how the participants are responding and spending their value on.

During the spending process, make it clear that not every last value has to be spent on the features. This will force people into thinking that they need to spend all the value they hold, hence clouding the data you might need to prioritize the feature.

3. Summarize the learnings

Once the process is over, review what went on during the meeting. Analyze things like what feature got the most value, and try to analyze why to understand the purpose of that feature’s existence.

Ask people questions like:

  1. Why did you value feature A over feature B?
  2. Did others’ spending influence their spending decision on a feature?
  3. How much will you miss this feature when the feature doesn’t exist?

Summarize all your learning from this activity, and prioritize features on your product roadmap .

Buy-a-feature activity could be the most powerful activity you can do when prioritizing features for your product. The best part, you can continuously do this throughout the year automatically for your customers with customer feedback tool like featureOS .