Knowing When to Discontinue a Product or Feature
There’s no secret involved here, and most of us in the product business know that non-viable, non-critical products within the portfolio use vital resources that can be used for other product investments. With this backdrop, why is it that product managers and business leaders tenaciously hold-on to products that are no longer strategically important or fit for market? Sunrise, sunset.
There are any number of barriers to effective discontinuation. Some of these include a lack of attention to market trends, or a lack of focus on the real results; fewer sales, or no sales. In my corporate life, people used to say “what if we get an order from a customer?” I’d roll my eyes as I’d think about inventory in a warehouse. Or with my software systems, I managed – usage was down, transactional volumes were evaporating, and money wasn’t coming into the checkbook.
If you believe your product is ready for a graceful exit, consider the decision criteria that you could apply. Try a checklist like the one below