There are several reasons why a product manager should use product prioritization techniques. Product prioritization techniques help in maximizing the impact of a product, managing possible product risks, making data-driven decisions, and also help product managers take a customer-centric approach knowing what feature to build next. In this article, we are going to see an overview of the most commonly used product prioritization techniques.
There is more than one technique that can be used by a product manager to prioritize features and enable him or her to draft a roadmap for the product. In this article, we will be looking at the four most commonly used product prioritization techniques that are available on the market.
- Value vs Effort
- Kano Model
Value vs Effort
This is a simple prioritization technique where a 2×2 matrix is plotted to understand the business value of a feature against the effort needed to build it.
Priority should be given to a feature that falls under the ‘high-value and low-effort’ quadrant, as it enhances the value of the product without taking a toll on the engineering team for developing the feature. This further reduces the turnaround time and shortens the go-to-market time from the discovery phase to the development phase, which gives us the competitive advantage of building features faster than our competitors.
RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. A product feature is prioritized in the RICE model by multiplying the “reach, “impact,” and “confidence” metrics and dividing them by the “effort” metric. The score we get after this process is called the ‘RICE Score’, which will help in prioritizing the features. The formula for the RICE model is as below:
(Reach * Impact * Confidence) / Effort
We can get the ‘RICE Score’ from this formula. A higher RICE score means the feature will have a high impact and take little effort to build. We will prioritize features in descending order based on the RICE score.
The Kano model is a way to understand what makes people happy or satisfied with something. It helps us decide which features or improvements to focus on first when developing a product or service. The features in the Kano model can be categorized into three categories:
- Basic (Must-Have)
- Performance (Value Addition)
- Delighters (Innovative)
The features under the ‘Basic’ category are features that are expected to be there as part of the product and are essential in ensuring that the product meets the requirements of the customer.
The ‘Performance’ category includes product features that provide additional value to customers and are used to differentiate a product from its competitors. These features won’t necessarily affect the delivery of the product but can be added as an enhancement to the product, at a later stage of the product development process.
The ‘Delighters’ category includes product features that are unexpected and innovative and go beyond customers’ expectations. They surprise and delight customers, creating a wow factor and setting the product apart from others in the market.
By using the Kano model for product prioritization, companies can ensure that they focus on the most important features first, deliver a functional and competitive product, and then add enhancements and surprises to further delight their customers. It helps in understanding customer preferences and aligning development efforts with the desired outcomes.
MOSCOW is an acronym for Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, Won’t-Have. This method is helpful when features must be prioritized to deliver the most immediate business value. The focus will be on implementing the “Must-Have” initiatives before the rest of them.
For example, if the answer to the question ‘What happens if the feature is not present?’ is ‘stop the product launch’, then these features should be categorized as ‘Must-Have’. If the answer to the previous question is “no” or “can wait’, then those features should be categorized as ‘Should-Have’ and ‘Could-Have’. The ‘Won’t-Have’ category mainly deals with features that are currently out of scope for the initial product launch and features that add no value to the customer as well as to the product at this point.
In conclusion, the best method for prioritizing features depends on your product’s specific needs and organization. All the mentioned methods can aid informed decision-making. Product prioritization is an ongoing process that requires revisiting and adjusting as your product and users’ needs evolve. By involving your team and stakeholders and exploring various techniques, you can ensure your product consistently meets user requirements, making the best decisions for its success.
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