Prioritize around clear objectives

Jerome Lijertwood
Written by Jerome Lijertwood


Objectives are clear, measurable, inspiring goals aligned with specific outcomes you're striving to achieve — for your customers, product, or business. Using objectives helps boost team focus, morale, alignment, engagement, and accountability. Watch our 2-minute primer:


In this article:

Understanding objectives


  • Help users perform core job-to-be-done X
  • Grow our impact on the world by expanding to customer segment Y
  • Close core feature gaps experienced by user role Z

Some things you can do with objectives:

      • Treat objectives like initiatives: Consider value, effort, and other factors to decide each feature's final priority within an objective.
      • Visualize your roadmap grouped by objective swimlanes: Help everyone see exactly which objectives each feature supports.
      • Focus on your most strategically relevant ideas: Sort/filter your Features board or filter your roadmap by objective, objective score, or objective priority.

Using objectives in Productboard

Below we'll walk through a common sequence of steps for using objectives to prioritize and plan on your Features board.


Show objectives on your Features board

Select the objectives icon on the right side of your screen to see all objectives.

From here you can add a new objective, or toggle on existing objective to display them as columns on your board.


Add features to an objective

Select the [+] icon to add a feature to one or more objectives. That way you'll be able to filter your board to see only those features in a given objective.


Score feature value

Next score features based on how well they support each objective. This will allow you to sort/filter your board to surface strategically relevant feature ideas.


Record effort estimates (optional)

Now record effort estimates for each feature, especially those most valuable to each objective.


Set each feature's final priority

Within an objective, evaluate each feature's value and effort (along with other criteria) to decide its final priority: must-have, should-have, or nice-to-have.


Optionally, you can now simplify the objective column to show just the final priority.


Use objective priority to plan what to build now, next, and later

Now you can sort and filter your board for a given objective:

        • By value (preliminary score)
        • By score (value/effort ratio)
        • By priority (final priority)

This can be helpful for seeing just your top-priority features for your current objective and updating their status (e.g. to Planned) or adding them to an upcoming release.


You can also filter for all features added to the objective, regardless of whether they've been assigned a value or priority.



Using the Prioritization matrix

To visualize the value/effort tradeoff for features within an objective use the Prioritization matrix grouping option on the Features board.

Find your low-hanging fruit (high-value/low-effort) features in the upper left region of the matrix. You can then adjust each feature's final priority within the objective.



Using drivers with objectives

Drivers can be used alongside objectives, functioning as secondary prioritization criteria. For example, while your main objective may be to expand into a new market segment, you could use drivers like satisfier and delighter to indicate which features are table-stakes and which are innovative/unexpected.


You might also use a driver to represent something core to the way you differentiate in the market, or something near and dear to your team's product principles. An example would be a UX magic driver that keeps the team focused on shipping features most likely to delight — especially important when you're up against clunky competitors.


If nothing else, drivers can useful as "tie-breakers" when you end up with too many must-haves within an objective and need additional criteria to decide which to build next.


See also

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