Feature selection for evolutionary Commercial-Off-The-Shelf software: studies focusing on time-to-market, innovation and hedonic-utilitarian trade-offs

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University of Alabama Libraries

Feature selection is one of the most important decisions made by product managers. This three article study investigates the concepts, tools and techniques for making trade-off decisions of introducing new features in evolving Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software products. The first article investigates the efficacy of various feature selection techniques when the trade-off is between comprehensiveness and time-to-market. The second article investigates the impact of current level of product performance when the trade-off is between providing different types of innovative features to the users. The third article investigates the impact on the ability of the COTS product to attract new users and retain existing users when the trade-off is between providing utilitarian and hedonic value through new product features. To meet these research goals an extensive multidisciplinary study of Information Systems (IS) and Product Development literatures was conducted followed by experimental research. The experiments were conducted among youth between 19-24 years who were users of Gmail software and produced some key findings. In the first study the Kano survey method was found to be effective in identifying those features which added value to the product and those that did not. This finding will facilitate product managers in using appropriate techniques for identifying the critical product features to be built into the COTS product thereby reducing time-to-market without sacrificing product quality. In the second study, current COTS product performance was found to significantly impact the type of innovation to be introduced into the COTS product. Basic or Core product innovations were found to have value for the users when performance is low but not when the performance is high. On the other hand, Expected or product Performance innovations and Augmented or user Excitement innovations were found to have value when the performance is high but not when the performance is low. In the third study, Hedonic value and Utilitarian value of product features were found to have distinctive impact on users. While Hedonic value impacted Word-of-Mouth, a measure of the products' capacity to attract new customers, Utilitarian value impacted User Loyalty, a measure of the products' capacity to retain existing customers.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Information technology, Management, Marketing