Brayden Haws

October 11, 2021

Prioritization Methods

Prioritization Methods have been something that I have had a hard time nailing down. It seems like everyone has a different approach and they are all touted as being the standard.

Through lots of trial and error, I’ve come to land on Value vs Effort being the best approach. It let’s you quickly determine what to build and how to prioritize the work:

  • High Value, Low Effort (generally quick wins for the customer and the team)
  • High Value, High Effort (prioritized in deep collaboration with engineering, to clearly define scope and understand what’s technically possible)
  • Low Value, Low Effort (these sometimes make sense to pursue, perhaps as off cycle work)
  • Low Value, High Effort (avoid at all costs)

Lately I’ve come to realize there is an even easier and more lightweight framework that can be used to screen and score items before they make it to the Value vs Effort exercise.

The concept is to first screen ideas by who will benefit from their existence or who will feel the most pain from their non-existence.
  • Current Customers: these ideas get top priority as they can increase customer engagement and lead to further use and lock-in
  • Future Customers: these are ideas that potential customers have asked for or that are table stakes in market. They aren’t as high priority as serving our current customers but need to be developed to ensure continued growth of the customer base and company 
  • Ourselves: these are ideas that are likely internal tools or creature comforts for the team. These are important and can slow development if the capabilities they represent pile-up, but building for customers should take priority

Once ideas have been bucketed by their priority type, you can then run them through the Value vs Effort framework to further hone priorities. Once items are all bucketed, scored for value, and prioritized; you can begin to assign the work based on available resources and other team/company considerations.

About Brayden Haws

Healthcare guy turned tech wannabe. Doing product stuff at Grow. Building Utah Product Guild⚒️. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product strategy and technology⬇️.

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