Feature Outcome Assessment

What Is a Feature Outcome Assessment?

A feature outcome assessment focuses on specific, measurable outcomes rather than product features.

Why Is It Important for Product Management?

Focusing on outcomes rather than features requires a close connection to customers and an intimate understanding of the problems they need to solve. Features for the sake of features can eclipse the needs of customers. Thus set product teams on a path for failure.

“Before you decide on specific products and features, you should know the problem you need to address. Otherwise, you’re taking huge risks in building the wrong things,” writes Hoa Loranger, VP at Nielsen Norman Group. “Teams who carefully consider users’ intents and needs produce better products because they know what people want and are not guessing what output might be best,” Loranger continues. “The world is full of examples of useless products or features that nobody uses because they didn’t fill a need.”

How Can PMs Pave the Way to a Positive Outcome?

To build a great product that delights customers, Product Managers need to profoundly understand their customers and identify the real problems they need to solve. The #1 wish of product teams is to have a clearer purpose and company strategy in 2021.

Keep these steps in mind to help you create valuable outcomes that minimize risk:

  1. Understand the problem you’re trying to solve and who you’re solving it for.
  2. Gather user data and vet your solution.
  3. Know (and stay true to) your organization’s strategic strength.
  4. Implement SMART goal setting to refine outcomes.
  5. Cultivate an environment that welcomes and encourages creative problem-solving from the get-go.
  6. Create roadmaps that are outcome-based or even feature-free. A feature-less roadmap is a roadmap designed to function as a strategic blueprint. Feature-less roadmaps enable product managers to deliver a product that both solves customer problems and supports the broader goals of the company.


We’re all familiar with feature-based roadmaps. The challenge with this method is that the how and what often obscures the why. When teams adopt a feature-factory mindset, they ship far faster than they learn and create value. Join our expert panel as we discuss how product managers can use themes and a north star metric to ground their product roadmaps. We’ll share actionable ways to create (and maintain) a feature-less product roadmap that you can present with confidence at your next stakeholder meeting.


[Free report] 2021 State of Product Management ➜


Related terms: SMART Goal Setting, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), Key Performance Indicator (KPI), Feature Kickoff, Feature Factory, Prioritization, Retention, Impact Mapping, Beta Test.