Friday, June 28, 2013

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Feature Comparison Matrix

Dearest Readers,

In this Blog Post I will take you through one of the simplest concepts, i.e. Feature Comparison Matrix. We will discuss what is a Feature Comparison Matrix, how to prepare it and when it is required...

What is a Feature Comparison Matrix?
As the name specifies, it is a matrix which compares the availability of different Features of various Products of similar kind. 

When do you need a Feature Comparison Matrix?
  • If you want to compare Features of various Products of similar class.
  • If you are working in Software Product Development Company, and you are part of a new Product Development Process. At that time, you need to do a Market Analysis & Industry Analysis to understand the Vendors (Competitors) who are providing similar kind of Products. As a result of your Market/Industry Analysis, you need to come up with a Feature Comparison Matrix which will show-case the various features offered by similar kind of Products and which all features exist in which Product.
  • If you are working in a Project, and the Project requires a specific 3rd Party Product to be integrated for a particular module. E.g.: If you are working in a "Treasury" Management System, and you require a 3rd party application for "Forex Pricing Engine". So you need to identify the Vendor's Products you are looking and go through the details of those products and prepare a Feature comparison Matrix, which can be used later for Vendor/Product Evaluation.
How to prepare a Feature Comparison Matrix?
Let's go through a sample Feature Comparison Matrix which I have created. 

Pic: Sample Feature Comparison Matrix
Steps:

1.  Identify the Vendors, whose Products you will be comparing. To do this, go through various Analyst Sites to identify the Top Vendors who offer the similar kind of Products.

E.g.: We would like to have a Product for "Mortgage Management System". Identify all Vendor Products and choose top 5 Vendor Products for comparison. 

2.  Identify all possible Features present in all the Products, which should be a Super Set of Features. List these features Module-wise. If you are aiming for developing any Product, then Identify and list all possible Features you want to have in the Product and then compare the same with other Vendor Products.

E.g.: Identify various Modules in a "Mortgage Management System", such as: Loan Origination, Loan Underwriting, Loan Closing and Loan Servicing. Then list out all possible features/requirements for each of the Modules.

3.  List out all Vendor-Products and mark against the features which are available in that Product. Please refer to the above picture.

Analyzing the Feature Comparison Matrix Result:

1.  The last row (No. of Features Available out of 14) in the picture shows that:
  • There are total 14 features in the Matrix. Out of 14 features, how many features are present in each Vendor Product.
  • "Vendor 1 - Product 1" satisfies maximum number of features i.e. 10.
  • "Vendor 4 - Product 4" satisfies minimum number of features i.e. 5.
2. The last column depicts the count of Vendor Products where a Particular Feature is available. 
  • "Feature - 11" is present in all the 4 Vendor Products.
  • "Feature - 2" is present in only one Vendor Product.

These kind of analysis helps in understanding and identifying which Vendor Product meets to our expectation. While finalizing a particular Product, we need to consider the Product Pricing as well as a main criteria.

Hope this article help you out in understanding the practical approach of a Feature Comparison Matrix. Do let me know you feedback through your comments.


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3 comments :

ROHIT kumar said...

Very Nice , its very much needed during project Implementation....Thanks a lot..

Narayanan oR said...

I feel it will also be good to include a column against the features that will state whether it is "Good to have" or "Must have". When a company goes for a product improvement, it is obvious many things will creep in. What is your say ?

Lost In Venus said...

This holds good when the organisation is ready to buy a lock stock and barrel product. WHat will the template when the organisation has a requirement and that is being met via a product.

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