Product School

What is Prioritization in Product Management?

Prioritization means deciding what happens FIRST. In Product Management, this normally means deciding what features to ship, what bugs to fix, and what other tasks your team should be working on based on their value to the customer.

Prioritization in Product Management

What is Prioritization?

Prioritization in Product Management involves a systematic approach to deciding which features/tasks to work on first that takes into account the value of each feature or task, its costs and complexity, and its impact on the customer and the business. 

Why Prioritization Matters 

Without effective prioritization, Product Managers risk wasting time and resources on low-value features or tasks that don't meet the customer or business needs. Effective prioritization means your team is working on things that deliver value, making your customers happy, appropriately spending resources, and creating opportunities for business growth.

How to prioritize features in Product Management

Here are five steps for effective prioritization in Product Management:

  1. Define the objectives: Clearly define the goals of the product and what value it will provide to the customers and the business.

  2. Identify tasks: Create a list of tasks required to achieve the defined objectives.

  3. Evaluate tasks: Evaluate each task based on the value to the customer and the business, complexity, and impact.

  4. Rank tasks: Rank tasks based on their evaluation and prioritize them based on their importance.

  5. Re-evaluate and adjust: Regularly re-evaluate and adjust the prioritization based on the changing needs of the customers and the business.

Prioritization glossary

Other prioritization strategies:

Product Managers utilize a range of strategies to drive stakeholder alignment through data-driven prioritization. Popular techniques include:

RICE Scoring

RICE Scoring is a technique that involves evaluating potential features or projects based on their reach, impact, confidence, and effort. This technique helps Product Managers prioritize features or projects that have the most significant impact with the least amount of effort.

Kano Model

The Kano Model is a framework for prioritizing features based on their impact on customer satisfaction. It helps Product Managers identify the features that are essential to the customer experience and the ones that provide only marginal value.

Value vs. Effort Prioritization

Value vs. Effort prioritization is a technique that involves evaluating potential features or projects based on their value to the user and the effort required to build them. This technique helps Product Managers prioritize the most valuable features or projects that are also feasible to build.

When to Utilize Prioritization in Product Management

While prioritization happens upfront, it’s an ever-present aspect of the Product Lifecycle. Product Managers should continuously evaluate and adjust task and feature prioritization based on customer feedback and evolving business priorities.

Prioritization in action 

With a number of different features in the backlog, we applied prioritization strategies to determine which feature would deliver the maximum customer value with the least resources consumed.

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