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August 23, 2017

Your team should be making more software feature requests

By Ross Gerring

Meme - Can't tell if bug or feature requestEver noticed how people (e.g. your team members) are very quick to report bugs in software, but much slower to make feature requests?

We think these are the main reasons why:

1. Assumption that bugs are more likely to be fixed for free.
2. Assumption that software companies aren’t accessible for, or interested in, receiving feature requests.
3. They’re just not thinking outside the box about how the software can and should serve them better. They’re “ok” with the status quo.

To which I respond:

1. Software is increasingly delivered as a paid subscription model. Your subscription is already paying for bug fixing *and* the software’s ongoing development and improvement. Under this particular SaaS model, it’s highly unlikely that the developer will reply with “well, that’s going to cost you $x”.

2. Most software development companies I know are *hungry* for feature requests. It’s the market helping to tell them, for free, which direction they should be travelling. Sure, your request will likely go into a queue and won’t be delivered tomorrow. But much better that it’s actually in the queue and voted for, than not being in the queue at all.

3. OK, you got me, not everyone is hard-wired for out-of-the-box, bar-raising thinking. But if you remind your team of my points #1 and #2 above then perhaps, on the margin, people will feel more empowered to make feature requests than before.