Features vs Tasks: Internal discussion in BHTech
As a project manager in an outsourcing company (BHTech – a Vietnam Software Development Company), I always have to analyze customers’ requirements into features, then break them down into tasks for developers. However, many developers, and even managers, confuse between Features vs Tasks. To clarify these items will help the projects to run smoother, more efficient and high quality.
Let’s have an example. If you want your employee (who is making it) to make a coffee machine, you call him and say “I want an espresso coffee. Please make it”. He will go and come back to after few minutes with a cup of espresso. The problem is that you don’t want a cup of coffee, you want the machine that can make espresso coffee. But you are screwed up by giving him the task “make espresso coffee”, instead of giving him feature “the machine can make espresso coffee”.
We will avoid this kind of mistake if we are clear about the features and tasks, before assigning them to someone in your team.
Features are, basically, requirements from customer about something. The coffee machine has a “making espresso coffee” feature. And tasks are specific works to do to make those features available.
For example, make a glass container for cream, make a container for dried coffee, and another container where dried coffee and cream will be mixed with proper ratio. With all that, your employee will know what you expect (from the feature), and what he should do (tasks) to make it come to life.
Once again, always be clear about what you want from the product, what you want from others, and your project will move on smoothly.
At BHTech, we have been applying Redmine and Trello to manage features and tasks in the last 4 years. Those tools are supporting BHTech’s to improve its projects’ management.