Prioritization Notes

The best ideas on how to make a decision on what to do next


Prioritization can not only be ruined by the lack of a system. Dangers to proper decision-making are within the team: the opinion of the leader or overly expert opinions you can't argue with, or spontaneous decisions based on client requests. Find out some common management mistakes to avoid them in your team.

HiPPO Effect

Highest Paid Person Opinion with the most power in the room whose opinion can’t be disputed. Other opinions and data can be ignored. In some cultures, people can be afraid to speak against the HiPPO.

  • Ignored strategy and roadmap.
  • Development cost increase.
  • Growth rate decrease.
  • Team productivity decrease.
How to handle:
  1. Challenge decisions not aligning with goals.
  2. Explain each decision and support with data.
  3. Involve everybody in the discussions and collect opinions.
  4. Focus on customer opinions and core values.
  5. Enable free data flow within the company.
RHiNO Effect

Really High-value New Opportunity—a sales-person with a customer deal for an unplanned feature insisting re-allocating resources to build what's required to win the deal.

  • Ignored strategy and roadmap.
  • Resources allocated to serve a single customer.
Two ways to handle:
  1. Compare the opportunity cost and value, and argue against signing the deal if you have customer insight supporting the roadmap.
  2. Adjust the roadmap if the opportunity includes features you already had planned for later in the year.
Seagull Effect

Seagull—a person who rushes into a problem without ascertaining the facts, gives orders with formulaic advice, and rushes away instead of working alongside the team.

  • High staff turnover and low morale.
  • Increased chances for heart diseases among employees.
How to handle:
  1. Set clear expectations—explore what is required of the employee, how their performance will be evaluated, and agree to work towards the goals.
  2. Communicate consistently—observe what employees say and do, and speak openly with them about their work.
  3. Give powerful feedback—pay careful attention to each employee’s performance and praise as frequently as you give constructive feedback.
Silo Mentality

Unwillingness to share information/knowledge between employees or across different departments within a company.

Begins with competition among senior managers.

  • Poor workflow.
  • Efficiency reduction.
  • Corporate culture damage.
  • Customer experience deterioration.
  • Practice collective knowledge-sharing.
  • Company-wide software tracking the goals.
  • Hold inter-departmental events.
  • Consider altering the compensation structure.
ZEBRA Effect

Zero Evidence But Really Arrogant—a person considering them-self an expert really knowing the customer but doesn’t have any facts to back them up.

  • Ignored data and customer opinions.
  • Pseudo expert decisions about customer needs.
How to handle:
  1. Support each decision with real data.
  2. Involve everybody in the discussions and collect opinions.
  3. Focus on customer opinions and core values.

How to choose a prioritization framework?

Not sure what to choose? Download our prioritization frameworks guide with questions, examples and useful links. Explore it in hi-res PNG, PDF or interactive Miro Board.