Time to Say 'Good Bye': Feature Lifecycle
Paper in proceedings, 2016
With continuous deployment of software functionality, a constant flow of new features to products is enabled. Although new functionality has potential to deliver improvements and possibilities that were previously not available, it does not necessary generate business value. On the contrary, with fast and increasing system complexity that is associated with high operational costs, more waste than value risks to be created. Validating how much value a feature actually delivers, project how this value will change over time, and know when to remove the feature from the product are the challenges large software companies increasingly experience today. We propose and study the concept of a software feature lifecycle from a value point of view, i.e. how companies track feature value throughout the feature lifecycle. The contribution of this paper is a model that illustrates how to determine (1) when to add the feature to a product, (2) how to track and (3) project the value of the feature during the lifecycle, and how to (4) identify when a feature is obsolete and should be removed from the product.