Differentiating feature realization in software product development
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Context: Software is no longer only supporting mechanical and electrical products. Today, it is becoming the main competitive advantage and an enabler of innovation. Not all software, however, has an equal impact on customers. Companies still struggle to differentiate between the features that are regularly used, there to be for sale, differentiating and that add value to customers, or which are regarded commodity. Goal: The aim of this paper is to (1) identify the different types of software features that we can find in software products today, and (2) recommend how to prioritize the development activities for each of them. Method: In this paper, we conduct a case study with five large-scale software intensive companies. Results: Our main result is a model in which we differentiate between four fundamentally different types of features (e.g. ‘Checkbox’, ‘Flow’, ‘Duty’ and ‘Wow’). Conclusions: Our model helps companies in (1) differentiating between the feature types, and (2) selecting an optimal methodology for their development (e.g. ‘Output-Driven’ vs. ‘Outcome-Driven’).