Prioritize around clear objectives and initiatives

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


In this article:

Understanding objectives and initiatives


  • 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 and initiatives:

      • Treat objectives and initiatives like initiatives: Consider value, effort, and other factors to decide each feature's final priority within objectives and initiatives.
      • Visualize your roadmap grouped by objectives and initiatives 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 objectives and initiatives, objectives and initiatives score, or objectives and initiatives priority.

Using objectives and initiatives in Productboard

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

Show objectives and initiatives on your Features board

Click the AddColumnButton.svg Add column button and select objectives and initiatives to see all objectives and initiatives.

From here, you can add new objectives and initiatives or toggle on existing objectives and initiatives to display them as columns on your board.


Add features to an objective and initiative

Select the [+] icon to add a feature to one or more objectives and initiatives. That way, you can filter your board to see only those features in a given objective and initiative.


Score feature value

Next, score features based on how well they support each objective and initiative. 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 and initiative.


Set each feature's final priority

Within objectives and initiatives, 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 objectives and initiatives column to show just the final priority.


Use objectives and initiatives priority to plan what to build now, next, and later

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

        • 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 objectives and initiatives 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 objectives and initiatives, regardless of whether they've been assigned a value or priority.


Using the Prioritization matrix

To visualize the value/effort tradeoff for features within objectives and initiatives, 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 objectives and initiatives.


Using drivers with objectives and initiatives

Drivers can be used alongside objectives and initiatives as secondary prioritization criteria. For example, while your main objective and initiative 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 objectives and initiatives and need additional criteria to decide which to build next.

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