In a previous article I explained the 4 stages of a software product:
This 4 phases lifecycle can be applied not only to a whole product, but also to its major features.
To give you an example, let’s imagine our whole product being Linkedin. Let’s say that we decide to develop a new feature for Linkedin, for instance, the article publishing feature I’m using right now to write this article. During the feature innovation phase, we’ll have to find the product-market fit. In this case it will be feature-market fit, and the market is the entire user base of Linkedin.
If we are able to find the feature-market fit, then it’s time to grow the feature usage, i.e., implement additional features to the publishing feature we’ve just launched so it can be a complete feature to be used by the maximum number of users possible.
After the growth of the publishing feature adoption in Linkedin user base comes the feature maturity. In this stage, the publishing feature is complete in terms of its possibilities and since its used by the majority of the user base, its growth slows down.
Then, after growth comes the End of life stage for the publishing feature. It can happens if Linkedin as whole enters this phase, or if the feature is replaced or discontinued for any reason.
Next time you decide to develop and launch a major feature for your product, you can apply the product lifecycle view to help you manage the lifecycle of this new major feature.
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