“If the things that your product or service offers are compelling to your consumers, then it will stand out and be more attractive to your market, but you must take care to craft requirements that specifically address how the consumer will experience the value of those features”
The difference between features and requirements is often blurry. That’s because in casual conversation, we normally allow for imprecise descriptions and explanations. But as integrated project managers looking after resource-intensive and risk-prone development efforts understanding, and expressing these differences clearly, will result in products and services that are more satisfying to buyers, and at a cost-position that is sustainable or competitive.
One of the World's most innovative companies of 2017, Casper Mattress, claims that its “breathable foams help you sleep cool.” So, not getting too warm while sleeping, is a feature their market sensing has determined to be a strong consumer desire they wanted to offer. In order to create a product that has breathable foams to help customers sleep cool, they undoubtedly established certain requirements for heat and moisture management their mattress material must meet.
Identify compelling features after conducting a thorough market sensing program to understand buyer desires and your company’s ability to satisfy them. Compelling features are those features buyers will be able to visualize themselves using and quickly perceive the value to them. Such features must also have a lasting impact, and keep up with evolving expectations of your buyers. For some people staying cool while sleeping is highly desired and if a mattress can do that, they will try it and maybe buy it.
Identify the performance requirements. As you define requirements you should organize them in order to ensure that you will indeed satisfy customer needs while also being able to understand the cost of each. In your organization, you will want to focus on those requirements with the highest significance to your buyer, which if not met, will lose buyer satisfaction. These are referred to as performance requirements. Engineering mattress materials to keep the transfer of heat to the sleeper to a certain minimum, is a performance requirement. If after 100 nights you get too hot on a Casper mattress you will take them up on their free return pickup offer.
Identifying features compelling to your buyers, those they can quickly perceive offer value to them, and will provide long lasting value to increase your differentiation. Requirements clarify the direction, the steps and effort needed to accomplish the goal stated by a feature. Even more, defining performance requirements will help you prioritize the lists upon lists of requirements your project has, so you don’t miss satisfying the features most important to your buyers.