Prioritization & Planning

Kano Model:

Weighs customer satisfaction against cost to implement. Provides insight into what customers expect vs. what will bring them delight.

  • Evaluates features based on potential to meet or exceed customer expectations (delighters) vs. the resource investments to build them
  • Excitement vs performance vs threshold features
  • Use when: limited time and/or resources, evaluating minimum feature, …see below…
  • Also useful to:
    • Understand customers
    • Determine competitive differentiation
    • Prioritize

References: Guide to the Kano Model | What is the Kano Model | Using the Kano Model | Kano Model Analysis | PM guide to Kano

MoSCoW Method

Used to ID what matters most to stakeholders & customers by classifying features/tasks/stories into four priority buckets (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have).

  • Works best when:
    • A large number of tasks need to be prioritized
    • Once confident scope is fully understood
  • Can be done as physical group exercise
  • Outcome: clear & shared sense of direction and priorities …outline for MVP

References: Power of the Moscow method| Intro to Moscow | How to prioritize with moscow


Helps with prioritization by scoring projects/features according to the RICE acronym:

  • (Reach) - how many customers will the project/feature impact over given time period?
  • (Impact) - measurable impact to cust/biz - increase in sales, cust. sentiment, etc
  • (Confidence) - your level of confidence (%) in your data
  • (Effort) - Resource need to build

Basic equation => (RxIxC)/E = Rice score

  • Value: Method to objectively weigh competing projects against each other
  • Pros: the stated value above & it requires product teams to make product metrics SMART (reach component)
  • Cons: dependencies are not considered, it is still an estimation game (ie confidence)…

References: Intercom, Productboard ProductPlan

Story Mapping

Method of arranging user stories to create a complete view of the user’s experience/journey

  • Collaborative, involves the whole team
  • Personas and what are they trying to accomplish
  • Value: prioritizes the right work, can deliver value early and often, exposes risks & dependencies
  • Cons: doesn’t consider external factors like business value and complexity, not rooted in a customer problem
  • Useful for MVP <-> Ongoing Dev

References: What is story mapping1, What is story mapping2, How you slice it, The New User Story Backlog is a Map

Value vs. Effort (complexity)

Objective method to prioritize projects based on value/effort score

Basic equation => Value/Effort = Priority

References: ProductPlan, Roadmunk, Hygger

Weighted Scorecard

Ranks projects/feature against defined drivers (can be benefit & cost categories).

  • Define drivers (benefit/cost considerations) and assign % weight to each, totalling across to 100%
  • Review projects/features, assign value 1-100 for each driver
  • For each project/feature, multiply value to driver weight for each driver & total
  • Rank based highest to lowest totals

References: 280group, Product School - normalized ex, MindtheProduct

Other Methods

  • Cost of Delay - helps place focus on speed & value
  • Opportunity Scoring - (aka Opportunity Analysis) uses a satisfaction & importance graph to measure and rank opportunities
  • The Product Tree - (aka pruning the product tree)