Kano model

Kano model

What is the Kano model?

The Kano model is a framework used to prioritize features. It is a good complement to other prioritization frameworks as it looks at what is expected to differentiate on the type of satisfaction a feature will drive - does it merely remove dissatisfaction or does it create excitement.

Developed in 1984 by Dr. Noriaki Kano the Kano scoring model is a framework used to prioritize features by weighing up:


Features are grouped into 5 categories:

  1. BASIC. Expected features that needs to be part of your solution if your product is going to be competitive and which can be detrimental if absent.
  2. PERFORMANCE. Also known as one dimensional because these features have a directly proportional relationship between implementation investment and customer delight.
  3. EXCITEMENT. Customers may not even miss them if they are not included, but they deliver a disproportionate amount of customer delight as you invest in them.
  4. INDIFFERENT. Features that customers do not care about.
  5. DISSATISFACTION. Features that will frustrate and upset customers.

Measuring customer perceptions

To measure customer perceptions of your product’s attributes, a pair of questions is asked for each feature:

  1. How they feel if they have the feature;
  2. How they feel if they did not have the feature.

With specific options to choose from:

  • I like it
  • I expect it
  • I am neutral
  • I can tolerate it
  • I dislike it

The resulting matrix will help place features into the 5 Kano categories for further analysis against implementation investment.

Using the Kano model

The Kano model is a good framework for teams with limited time and resources as part of the prioritization stage of the product management process.

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