Prioritize like you mean it


A nice article summarizing different methods of prioritization. Missed some, for instance, the Kano method, but still a good read.

How do you prioritize?


In greenfield projects, I’ve typically pushed to gain clarity on the MVP and understand whether to tackle “breadth first” (build minimum of each area to prove to future markets what the product will eventually build up to)… or “depth first” (completely build out a single use case well to get immediate revenue and add cases/flows after that).

For existing products, I’ve used several of these methods. The “buy a feature” method is great when you have access to customers that can participate in it. Weighted scoring algorithms work well to guide PO’s, especially when sales is tugging on them and they need to not fall into “squeaky wheel” response syndrome.

At the end of the day though, none of it matters if your business doesn’t well understand the strategic direction of the product overall to provide context. (users, personas, horizon goals).


I like and have had success with MoSCoW, which I’ve blended with a Risk/Value approach. (The important thing with MoSCoW is that it’s much much more effective when there’s a dialog between stakeholders and the delivery team). I also am drawn to Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) - I’ve been involved with some mixed benefit prioritization with it. Where WSJF didn’t provide as much impact as it could have had more to do with our implementation, and less to do with the technique itself.

Here’s a handy reference with a host of prioritization tools.


MoSCoW is an old favourite of mine. WSJF definitely deserves a mention as well.