Product Strategy

Feature Driven Development (FDD)

Contents
What is Feature Driven Development (FDD)?
Definition of Feature Driven Development (FDD)
Feature Driven Development (FDD) is an efficient, client-centric iterative software development process applying a structured top-down whole method decomposition approach translating high level business needs into tangible, value adding feature components sequenced and planned into two-week "Design by Feature, Build by Feature" incremental development cycles promoting adaptive predictability.

Feature Driven Development (FDD) is a model-driven, short-iteration process that was built around software engineering best practices such as domain object modeling, developing by feature, individual class (code) ownership, feature teams, inspections, regular builds and configuration management. It is a methodology that is designed to deliver tangible, working software repeatedly in a timely manner.

Product management and operations are critical components of FDD, as they involve the planning, forecasting, and production or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle. This article will delve into the intricacies of these concepts, providing a comprehensive understanding of how they intertwine within the context of Feature Driven Development.

Definition of Feature Driven Development

Feature Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development methodology that prioritizes delivering client-valued functionality, often referred to as “features”, in a timely and efficient manner. FDD was originally devised by Jeff De Luca to meet the specific needs of a 15-month, 50-person software development project at a large Singapore bank.

The methodology is built around the concept of developing a system incrementally by building and implementing "features". In FDD, a feature is a small, client-valued function expressed in the form “ ” which can be implemented in two weeks or less.

Key Principles of FDD

FDD is built on five key principles: Develop an Overall Model, Build a Features List, Plan by Feature, Design by Feature, and Build by Feature. These principles provide a framework for delivering high-quality products quickly and efficiently.

Each principle plays a crucial role in the FDD process. The Overall Model provides a high-level understanding of the system being developed. The Features List is a breakdown of all the features or tasks that need to be completed. Planning, Designing, and Building by Feature ensure that each feature is implemented effectively and efficiently.

Product Management in FDD

Product management in FDD involves the strategic activities necessary to ensure the success of the product in the market. This includes identifying potential products; conducting market research; generating product requirements; determining specifications, production timetables, pricing, and time-integrated plans for product introduction; and developing marketing strategies.

The role of a product manager in FDD is to ensure that the product is being developed in a way that meets the needs of the customers and the goals of the business. They are responsible for defining the features that make up the product and prioritizing them based on customer needs and business value.

Role of a Product Manager in FDD

The product manager plays a critical role in FDD. They are responsible for understanding the market, the customers, and the competition in order to make strategic decisions about the product. They work closely with the development team to ensure that the features being developed align with the strategic goals of the business.

One of the key responsibilities of a product manager in FDD is to create and maintain the Features List. This is a detailed list of all the features that will be included in the product. The product manager prioritizes these features based on their understanding of the customer needs and business objectives.

Operations in FDD

Operations in FDD refers to the activities involved in the day-to-day functioning of the business as it relates to the development and delivery of the product. This includes managing resources, monitoring performance, and ensuring that the product is delivered on time and within budget.

In FDD, operations often involve coordinating with various teams to ensure that all aspects of the product development process are running smoothly. This includes managing the development team, coordinating with marketing and sales, and liaising with customer support.

Role of Operations Manager in FDD

The operations manager in FDD is responsible for ensuring that the product development process runs smoothly and efficiently. They coordinate with various teams, manage resources, and monitor performance to ensure that the product is delivered on time and within budget.

The operations manager also plays a key role in risk management. They are responsible for identifying potential risks and implementing strategies to mitigate them. This includes managing the risk of delays in the development process, the risk of cost overruns, and the risk of product defects.

How Product Management and Operations Intersect in FDD

Product management and operations are two sides of the same coin in FDD. While product management focuses on the strategic aspects of product development, operations focuses on the tactical aspects. Both are necessary for the successful delivery of a product.

The product manager and the operations manager work closely together to ensure that the product is developed and delivered successfully. The product manager defines the features and prioritizes them based on customer needs and business value, while the operations manager ensures that these features are developed and delivered efficiently and effectively.

Collaboration between Product Management and Operations

Collaboration between product management and operations is crucial in FDD. The product manager and the operations manager need to work together to ensure that the product is developed and delivered successfully. This involves regular communication and coordination to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

For example, the product manager may need to work with the operations manager to determine the feasibility of developing a particular feature within a certain timeframe. Similarly, the operations manager may need to work with the product manager to understand the priority of different features so that they can allocate resources accordingly.

Conclusion

Feature Driven Development is a powerful methodology for delivering high-quality products quickly and efficiently. Product management and operations play critical roles in this process, with the product manager defining and prioritizing features and the operations manager ensuring that these features are developed and delivered efficiently and effectively.

By understanding the roles and responsibilities of product management and operations in FDD, businesses can better manage their product development process and deliver products that meet the needs of their customers and the goals of their business.