Des Traynor from Intercom discusses in this podcast that in order to build the right thing and scale your company, you need everyone on the same page. Shared principles, value, and mission provide that page and give guidance to your team when it comes time to make decisions about what the right thing is and isn’t.
For most product people, an inordinate amount of time is spent battling stakeholders with data in order to keep new features from being added to a roadmap. So the prospect of removing features already implemented is clearly a tough one. But there are some compelling reasons for you to take out your knife.
People are not really into using products. Any time spent by a user operating an interface, twisting knobs, pulling levers or tapping buttons is time wasted. Rather, people are more interested in the end result and in obtaining that result in the quickest, least intrusive and most efficient manner possible.
In a fast-moving product development environment, it’s the product manager’s job to juggle priorities. Inevitably, as a certain product or feature improves, others will be left behind. Paul J believes that there are two types of debt — an accumulation of unnecessary features and the discrepancy between different products in your ecosystem. So occasionally, we must reflect on where our product debt stands and take time time to pay it down.
Some techniques, as outlined by the Hardcore Product Management blog, are a little less technical (and inherently more risky). In Agile Development, requests are organized by Must Haves, Nice to Haves etc. To decide which is which requires plenty of gut instinct. But it can be applied to product management prioritizing too, preferably backed up with data. Similarly, you can Stack Rank requests whereby the apparent least important ones are pushed to the bottom and ignored.
Product roadmap prioritization: weighted scoring or the kano model?
Two popular methods for feature prioritization, illustrated here by Jim Semick, are the Weighted Scoring Model and the Kano Model. They are markedly different approaches whereby the former relies on a quantitative scoring of costs and benefits and the latter focuses more on the qualitative ability of features to delight users.
As we’ll explore later, there are many tools you can use to prioritize feature requests. Rather than just grab one off the shelf, Sean McBride and the Intercom team came up with a hybrid system called RICE. That’s an acronym for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. When the former three are multiplied and divided by Effort, you can list a range of feature requests by its RICE score. Whether you take heed or continue with your gut feeling is up to you.