The value of a feature

time to read 1 min | 194 words

How do you value a feature? My own estimation is based on the amount of effort that it took, but the client has a totally different metric. The value of a feature for a client is directional proportional to the amount of pain it removes, with complete and utter disregard to the effort it took to implement.

I have been reminded of this when the customer completely failed to appreciate my JavaScript multi threading capabilities (that enabled a drop down list), and was supremely impressed with the user impersonation feature, which took about an hour to write. Amusingly enough, a strong to the same effect has just appeared on the Daily WTF.

That is completely reasonable approach from the client point of view, naturally. But I wish I could always get a "Wow, that completely rocks!" for those features, and something better, "Oh, you finally got it to work" for the stuff that had me pulling hair.

As an aside, this leads to managing the customer expectations, the classic example of which is of the mockup screen that looks real, but I have a whole lot to say about that, at a different post.