Product enhancement prioritization using metrics

Data, data, data - we have tons of it, so lets use it for product enhancements and releases!

Companies compile customer usage data that rarely gets used.  As product managers, we should use this data to drive our product road-map, strategy and development. Too often, I read about and talk to people who listen to the sales and marketing team in order define product requirements.  We need to focus on what our customers want by looking at how they're using our products and what features are most important to them.

If you have data that supports how frequently your customers are logging into and utilizing certain features, use that data to get that module of the product fixed and working properly.  This article may be helpful - it's from Pragmatic Marketing and gives a bit of information how prioritization.
A Model for Metrics Driven Feature Prioritization

I attended Product Camp in Boston this past June and Bruce McCarthy from Reqqs presented on a topic, Prioritization 301.  He used an interesting methodology for prioritizing!  Value / Effort = Priority.  I am planning to use this methodology in the next project I'm working on - and I'll let you all know how it goes!!

What are your thoughts on prioritization?   What about if you don't have the data?  What are others doing to prioritize product features?  Are there resources or processes you use to prioritize product features?


  1. I love the value/effort = prioritization! I have been using a similar scoring method with market need + ease of implementation, but I like McCarthy's formula much better. It's often difficult to use a simple formula for prioritization, though, since in my opinion, one should make sure that small wins are properly balanced with strategic initiatives and bug fixes.

  2. Thanks for the comment Scarlett!

    I think that's part of the joy of product management. We're constantly evolving, and there's not one way to do the job of a product manager. I like this formula because it's something that we can repeat, unlike many other methods out there. Prioritization is a tough case to crack - and there are many methods! What kinds of tools do you use for prioritization?

  3. I've log been a fan of the Effort/Value prioritization method. It's still the best way to sift out priorities in a big, fuzzy backlog (and let's be honest, who doesn't have a big and fuzzy backlog?!).

    We build this directly into our product: In addition to showing Impact and Effort mapping, we also show data on how fleshed out and how popular each backlog item is. It's a great way to visualize your backlog!


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