Whether your product team is large or small, you have a limited amount of resources. You must be thoughtful and careful in choose what product ideas and features to pursue and which to let fall by the wayside. It’s important to recognize that no team can pursue every initiative before them.
Choosing the Best Product Ideas and Features to Advance
Today, we’re going to look at a tool many organizations find useful in helping them determine how to proceed. This tool, the Prioritization Matrix helps product teams score the various product concept ideas under consideration so they can make well-reasoned decisions.
When myriad product ideas are floating around, this systematic matrix approach will help ideas with the most potential rise to the top so they can receive further study.
You can use this same Matrix approach to consider various features you may want to add to a product. The Prioritization Matrix pulls the cream of the ideas to the top and lets the sludge sink to the bottom and ultimately disappear.
Choosing Matrix Criteria
Your Prioritization Matrix can include any criteria that align with your organization’s goals and objectives. Some commonly used criteria are:
- Is the market attractive?
- Can you be competitive?
- Is it a good time to enter the market?
- What’s the market’s potential value?
- Can you differentiate your product from others out there?
- Is there a strong projected return on investment within a set period?
- Does the proposed product align with your company’s goals and objectives?
- How does the estimated cost of development compare to the size of the
Here’s a virtual example of what a Prioritization Matrix might look like:
Using the scoring scale, each of the criteria earns a score of 1,2,or 3. For clarity and to avoid individual subjectivity, it’s smart to specifically define each measure. For example for Market Attractiveness high would equal market growth of greater than 5% along with a market size of over 2M potential customers. Once you’ve defined your ranking scale numbers, your team should rate each criteria and total up the scores for each idea under consideration.
Naturally, at this point the scoring will be fairly subjective. That’s ok because you are not at the point of constructing a financial forecast. You are simply considering which ideas are the most deserving of additional consideration.
Building in Automatic Stops
You need to build some automatic stops into your Matrix. For instance, if an idea does not strategically align with your company’s strategy or objectives, it must be dropped from further consideration. Additionally, at the outset you should agree that products that do not garner a predetermined minimum total points will be discarded.
The systematic Prioritization Matrix approach is an excellent way to increase effective use of your resources. Don’t become discouraged if a majority of ideas don’t measure up on the Matrix. This is a common occurrence that can often lead to a positive: your valuable resources not being wasted on lackluster ideas.
Next week will take a look closer look at Product Concept Investigations, beginning with Personas.