Put an end to feature creep

A great product manager knows how to say no to ideas that don’t serve their product, their vision, or their customers. Scroll down to learn when to say no to common reasons for building a feature.

But the data looks good.
No.

Why not?

Data alone can be misleading. We could add Tetris to the app and engagement would fly off the charts, but does that make it a better product?

But the boss wants it.
No.

Why not?

This one’s tricky. But unless the boss has the time and insight to make smart, holistic decisions, then no.

But we'll lose the customer.
No.

Why not?

Unless it’s Apple, delivering extra value to one customer and on their terms always comes at the cost of taking value away from others. Scratch that. Even if it’s Apple.

It’ll only take a few minutes.
No.

Why not?

You know what else we can create in a few minutes? A bad feature. Scope might be a reason to bump it up the roadmap, but that’s a roadmap decision, not a product one.

But we can make it optional.
No.

Why not?

Are you trying to become a “mobile collaboration tool that can send invoices, schedule tweets, and make coffee?” Optional features lead to bloatware, with no clear focus.

But we don’t have anything else planned.
No.

Why not?

Here’s a plan: let’s use idle time to fix bugs, clean test suites, refactor. Reduce technical debt, not make more of it.

Our competitors have it.
No.

Why not?

That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If you obsess over your competition, you end up delivering yesterday’s broken technology tomorrow.

But if we don’t build it someone else will.
No!!!

Why not?

This reason is often used when you’re afraid to admit your product ends somewhere. The real question is: if you don’t build it, will your customers leave?

Say no.
Not maybe.
Not later.
Just no.

Saying no is hard, but a great product manager isn’t afraid to make tough decisions to keep their product bloat-free.

When should you say yes? Enter your email to get our checklist, plus more occasional product tips.

Share this and help your friends say no