Feature prioritization is more than just stacking in a particular sequence; it entails juggling the numerous inputs and opinions of stakeholders. Sifting through the demands and feature requests for a sprint or a product roadmap is one of the most difficult aspects of a product manager’s job.
Another difficulty product managers face when prioritizing is determining how many team members, stakeholders, and customers to participate and how heavily they should vote on which features, tasks, and updates to work on next.
In an ideal world, effective product prioritization frameworks would allow you to drown out the loudest individual in the room by employing quantitative rankings, charts, and matrices with values directly related to your customer feedback and product strategy. For that reason, we present to you the correct way to settle your feature prioritization.
How do you begin feature prioritization?
Before embarking on the route toward our North-Star objective—complete and utter client satisfaction—we should accomplish two things.
- Awareness: How does the discovery flow look? Can prospective clients find us via Google, social media marketing, or review sites, for example? How is the messaging conveyed—is it clear or perplexing?
- Consider the following: What concerns might a customer have? Are there any potential objections or challenges? What motives do we believe people have for signing up?
- Purchase: What motivates prospects to make a purchase—or what discourages them?
- Service: How is the in-product experience overall? How is your onboarding process structured? Is assistance available at all times?
- Customer loyalty: How long do customers stick around before leaving? Is a referral system in place? Is it possible for users to receive additional features or priority support?
In our case, we might emphasize the features “chat” and “newsletter” from the list provided by our product owners. Our product prioritizing study determined that these possible features would facilitate communication with our clients, hence assisting product management in understanding their demands.
Another effective feature prioritization technique is the Kano Model. This hypothesis, developed in 1984 by Professor Noriaki Kano, categorizes customer preferences. Product managers and teams may forecast customer happiness with product and service features using this prioritization methodology, based on the concept that it is function-dependent.
This methodology of product prioritization is classified into five categories:
Customers expect certain features, and while they may not be impressed by them, their absence would be disappointing. A good illustration of this is a search bar used to locate products on e-commerce websites.
The type of features that are not included in the initial product sale. Rather than that, PMMs incorporate them to boost overall contentment. A pleasing color palette combined with an attractive typeface not only adds to the creation of an eye-catching design but also the user experience by preventing user errors when browsing it. Small touches like this will help us increase our users’ time spent on our product.
These are the critical elements that give the product its competitive advantage and set it apart from the competitors. By conducting market research, product managers can develop a product strategy that focuses on improving features such as quicker registration, faster service, and enhanced customer communication channels.
Customers cannot decide if certain features are good or negative. Changing our logo is a wonderful example of this. It may elicit certain responses but will not influence the functionality.
These characteristics may be associated with decreased quality or performance, which may result in decreased levels of satisfaction. One of the primary characteristics of this category is intrusive advertising.
5 strategies for feature prioritization
Once we’ve done some “soul-searching” for the product, it’s time to get serious about the process. There are numerous techniques for prioritizing features in a product backlog. Several of them are concerned with the urgency of the feature, while others are more concerned with the benefit/effort ratio. Silver bullets are obsolete, especially in today’s customer-centric environment. Product managers must memorize all of these strategies and be knowledgeable in all of the various priority frameworks to employ them and make the best decision at any given moment.
The approach of opportunity scoring is to evaluate customer happiness based on the results of distinct features. This is because customers evaluate the value in terms of outcomes, rather than the technical execution of features.
To use this technique, you’ll need to create a list of the outcomes of the probable features that will be included. Customers should rate the importance of the features and their satisfaction with the existing solutions on a scale of 1 to 10.
The features are then displayed on the chart, and you’ll see which ones have a high level of satisfaction initially introduced but a low level of pleasure while used. The gap denotes an unfulfilled opportunity that can be addressed by working on the feature.
No, this methodology bears no resemblance whatsoever to Russia’s capital or any other Euro-Asian country. The abbreviation M (Must have), S (Should have), C (Could have), and W (Won’t have) refers to the features that this methodology must prioritize. It is one of the most frequently utilized and is utilized by stakeholders, among others, to comprehend the relevance of efforts contained in a particular release.
This paradigm for prioritizing is divided into four sections:
- Must-haves: non-negotiable features.
- Should-haves: important features.
- Could-haves: nice to have features.
- Will-not-haves: lower priority features.
The primary objective is to accurately name each feature to communicate its purpose.
Before using this priority structure, stakeholders and the product manager should ensure that the overall objectives, product strategy, and prioritizing factors are all aligned. They can next discuss how the product team will resolve any conflicts and, if necessary, make product decisions by allocating resources to each area.
Buy a Feature
Prioritization of buy-a-features is a technique you can apply with consumers or stakeholders to help them rank a list of prospective features. The method is straightforward but enjoyable. Create a list of possible characteristics and assign each one a “price” (based on a relative cost to develop it). Distribute a certain sum of money and then ask people to purchase the features. Some will spend their entire budget on a single feature they are passionate about, while others will split their funds throughout the space. As a consequence, you’ll have a prioritized feature list.
The acronym RICE stands for each of the focuses that can be obtained via the application of this prioritizing structure. When discussing a prospective feature, it’s also worth considering the following:
- Reach: the number of customers that will be reached with a feature.
- Impact: the impact score from 0,25 lowest to 3 the highest.
- Certain: the percentage of certainty that you have, based on research or statistics.
- Effort: effort based on a relation person – month.
Then, once you have all the numbers, you can perform the feature prioritization magic by solving for the final rice score using the equation:
The RICE score enables product managers to keep track of their forecasts. This paradigm for prioritization is a quantitative method, therefore it may not be the most successful in some circumstances. Nonetheless, it may become useful when making more objective, difficult decisions.
The impact/effort matrix enables the classification of features into one of four quadrants. This enables the team to have a better understanding of how a given feature will add value in the long run.
Consider the influence of the feature on market demand, customer acquisition, retention, engagement, and revenue when working with this model. Your team is responsible for defining the values contained within this model.
You can arrange a meeting with your team and allow members to vote on features based on their impact and effort requirements. Once the process is complete, you’ll want to prioritize innovations that involve little effort but have a significant impact.
When you begin discussing building projects, there is usually an air of excitement. The addition of new features is great. You can envision all the incredible locations your product could go, the results it could provide, and the best-case scenario. However, as an entrepreneur, you must always observe the feedback and reaction of your potential customers. Since you don’t want to fail at achieving great results and just fail your startup entirely. The same goes for your product development steps, as it is also a necessary component for delivering the right digital product. What would you do, if you don’t have enough knowledge and experience in that?
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