Prioritization Notes

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

Frameworks

Prioritization frameworks are ready-made models that help you translate opinions into clear and precise criteria. Choose one that meets your team's goals, or develop your own criteria based on several of them.

AARRR

Metrics for optimizing funnel of product growth.

  • Acquisition—arrives from marketing channels telling about the product.
  • Activation—visitors converted into active users (e.g. passes onboarding).
  • Retention—users returning to use the product.
  • Referral—people spreading the word about the product.
  • Revenue—convert active users into paying customers.
AARRR Prioritization

What to do first for optimizing product growth funnel.

  1. Transform AARRR steps into scoring criteria for Weighted Scoring Matrix.
  2. Decide on criteria weights to focus on specific goals more. E.g. Retention is more important now.
  3. Decide on the score scale. E.g. estimates in affected users or just scores from 1 to 5.
  4. Add Effort Criterion with negative weight to consider development.
  5. Prioritize all product related tasks with scores for all tasks by each AARRR step.

AARRR score = A(Score x Weight) + A(S x W) + R(S x W) + R(S x W) + R(S x W) - Effort (score x weight)

Content Idea Prioritization

Produce content that gain you more qualified visitors.

Describe content ideas sufficiently:
  1. Brief idea, draft title, article message, supporting materials.
  2. Research keywords: Search Volume, Keyword Difficulty, Search Volume. Use Ahrefs or SEMrush, etc.
  3. Link to similar article for SEO reference.
Evaluate with Weighted Scoring:
  1. Competence. Do we have enough experience, materials, and data to create quality content?
  2. Time. How much time will it take?
  3. Search Volume. Estimated Search Volume.
  4. Difficulty. Average keyword difficulty.
  5. Frequency. How often do customers mention the topic?
DHM Model (by Netflix)

Brainstorm ideas to answer:

Delight customers

How will the product delight (D) customers?
Both now and in the future.

Creating a hard to copy advantage

What will make the product hard (H) to copy?
Brand, Network effects, Economies of scale, Counter-positioning, Unique technology, Switching costs, Process power, Captured resource.

Margin-enhancing

What are the business model (M) experiments required to build a profitable business?

Eisenhower Matrix

2x2 matrix for personal time management.

Make two separate assessments of each task:
  • Is it urgent or not urgent?
  • Is it important or not important?
Results:
  • Urgent + Important → Do First.
  • Not Urgent + Important → Schedule.
  • Urgent + Not Important → Delegate to others.
  • Not Urgent + Not Important → Avoid doing.
Feature Buckets
Buckets to sort features:
  • Metrics Movers—Improve key product metrics, e.g. AARRR.
  • Customer Requests—Requested by customers. Carve out the roadmap.
  • Delights—Based on insights in design/technology customers would love.
  • Strategic—Aligned with business values and goals.
When too few features in a bucket:
  • Brainstorm features fitting the empty bucket.
  • Think how competitors would exceed your product.
  • Ask teams about features you’re not building.
When too many features in a bucket:
  • Think if it was created to get work on the roadmap.
  • Think if the buckets could be rolled up into fewer ones.
  • Check if the buckets are too granular.
HEART

Combined methods to define metrics reflecting UX quality and project goals.

HEART—UX metrics categories.
  • Happiness—user attitudes collected via survey.
  • Engagement—user involvement measured via behavioral proxies.
  • Adoption—the number of new users of a product/feature.
  • Retention—the rate of existing users’ return.
  • Task success—behavioral metrics of UX (efficiency, effectiveness, error rate).
Goals-Signals-Metrics—process transforming categories into metrics.
  • Goals—Identify the goals clearly.
  • Signals—Map goals to lower-level signals sensitive to changes in design.
  • Metrics—Refine signals into metrics to track or use in an A/B test.
ICE

Evaluate each task with 1—10 scale for prioritizing initiatives.

  • Impact: Moves a user across the AARRR funnel.
    Scored: 1—minimal impact; 10—massive impact.
  • Confidence: Conviction warranting the feature build out.
    Scored: 1—not sure it works; 10—must work out.
  • Ease: Work required for the feature delivery.
    Scored: 1—26 weeks+; 10—< 1 week.

Total Score = (Impact + Confidence + Ease) / 3

Kano Model

Product development model to classify customer preferences into five categories.

Poll two groups of customers:
  • Group 1—If they had the feature?
  • Group 2—If they didn’t have the feature?

Scored: Expect / Like / Neutral / Dislike

Results:
  • Expect + Dislike → Must-be
  • Like + Dislike → One-dimensional
  • Like + Neutral → Attractive
  • Neutral + Neutral → Indifferent
  • Dislike + Expect → Reverse
MoSCoW Method

The simplest method to sort tasks with only one criteria. Mark each task with just one label:

  • Must—Critical to the current delivery timebox to be a success.
  • Should—Important but not necessary in the current delivery timebox.
  • Could—Desirable but not necessary. Could improve customer satisfaction.
  • Won’t—Agreed as the least-critical. Not planned.
REAN

Plan and analyze the complex sequence of inter-related multichannel marketing activities.

Map each marketing channel activity by:
  • Reach—effectiveness of the attraction to your site.
  • Engage—customers or prospects interaction with your brand.
  • Activate—actions customers take on your website.
  • Nurture—encouragement to return to your site and consume more content.
RICE

Four-factor framework for prioritizing initiatives. 

  • Reach—How many customers will this project impact?
    Scored: Number of people/events per time period.
  • Impact—How much will this project increase conversion rate?
    Scored: 0.25—Minimal; 0.5—Low; 1—Medium; 2—High; 3— Massive.
  • Confidence—How much support do you have for your estimates?
    Scored: 20%—Moonshot; 50%—Low; 80%—Medium; 100%—High.
  • Effort—How much team time will the feature require?
    Scored: Number of “person-months”.

Total Score = Reach x Impact x Confidence / Effort.

The North Star Method
  1. Set a North Star metric—consolidate the work you’re doing and the value you’re delivering across acquisition, engagement, conversion, and retention.
  2. Define your user flows—define your app’s key events; draw the flows between events; use your analytics to identify the percentage of users taking each flow.
  3. Build a growth model—use the information about the user flows and are guided by the North Star metric to determine the growth drivers.
  4. Create a spreadsheet—transfer the model to a spreadsheet and evaluate your opportunities, to see how they impact growth.
Value vs. Complexity / Effort Matrix

2x2 matrix for prioritizing initiatives.

Make two separate assessments of each initiative:
  • How much value will the initiative deliver?
    Scored: High Value / Low Value
  • How much effort will the implementation require?
    Scored: High Complexity / Low Complexity
Results:
  • High Value + Low Complexity → Quick Wins.
  • High Value + High Complexity → Big Bets.
  • Low Value + Low Complexity → Maybes.
  • Low Value + High Complexity → Time Sinks.
WSJF

Weighted Shortest Job First used to sequence jobs (eg., Features, Capabilities, and Epics) to produce maximum economic benefit.

WSJF = Cost of Delay / Job Size

Cost of Delay = User-business value + Time criticality + Risk reduction-opportunity enablement value

Scale each parameter with Fibonacci row (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20).

Weighted Scoring Model

Numerical scoring for prioritizing initiatives by multiple data layers.

Steps:
  1. List the initiatives under consideration.
  2. Devise a set of cost-vs-benefit criteria to score each initiative.
  3. Determine the weights of each criterion by their importance.
  4. Assign individual scores for each initiative by each criterion.
  5. Multiply each score by the criterion weight.
  6. Add up the results for each initiative.
  7. Rank initiatives by their total score.