Practical Product Prioritisation

The original complete article appears here.

I talked to over a dozen Product Managers around the country and found that most product geeks try to prioritise their feature backlogs instinctively. They do put efforts to evaluate features under Impact versus Effort framework, but, in most cases one of the two plays a dominating role in decision making. For larger funded startups with spare resources it is Impact — they don’t care much about how many resources it takes. At the same time for smaller early stage bootstrapped ones it is Effort — they focus on building what they can build quickly.

Also, at different stages of the Product life cycle, their focus areas change. Most PMs did not notice that they were not making conscious efforts in balancing business, technology and user-experience, which, everyone says is what product management business is all about.

So, instead of over simplifying your analysis with Impact/Effort or Kano Model or losing track of the primary balancing act — I figured a framework where most PMs could fit their priorities better.

Here it goes.

  1. What’s the stage of your product in PLC? Early, Growth, Early Maturity, Maturity, Decline?
  2. What feature bracket can you fit your feature in to?

Here’s a list of brackets in no particular order:

  1. Parity feature — a feature that the competition (if any) already has
  2. Expected feature — feature that’s naturally expected from your product. Also includes conversion and revenue related features
  3. Advanced feature — something only power users would love
  4. By-products — what perhaps 3rd parties are providing on top of your solution. Check my last post for more details.
  5. Unexpected feature- unsolicited, clever add-on that can delight users in certain situations
  6. Repayment feature- reducing technical debt, legal debt, compliance related stuff
  7. Engagement feature- will hold the users longer, bring them back often
  8. Viral feature- will get you more users
  9. Security feature- keeps your product/users/data safe
  10. Instrumentation feature — helps you measure and monitor health of product

Now based on the stage of your product in the PLC you can determine what bracket should take precedence and hence prioritise accordingly. In early stages you’d focus more on Expected and Parity features. However, as you grow the Viral and Engagement features get higher priority.

See the invisible framework on how these brackets get different priority based on what stage of PLC your product is in — UVTimes Blog Post.


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Ujjwal Trivedi

Ujjwal Trivedi

Products guy | Sr. Director Products@ MoveInSync | Ex-Artoo Fintech | Ex-CouponDunia | Economics | Cognitive Sciences | Poetry | Volunteer/Director @ Headstart.