How to use common prioritization frameworks in Productboard

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Prioritization in product management is the disciplined process of evaluating the relative importance of work, ideas, and requests to eliminate wasteful practices and deliver customer value in the quickest possible way, given a variety of constraints.

Formulas provide a single number with flexible calculations that allow product makers and stakeholders to decide the most valuable feature to build next and sort their backlog based on that metric.

In this article, we demonstrate how to create the most popular prioritization formulas used by product managers, on your Features Board.

In this article:

The RICE Framework

The RICE framework is a straightforward scoring system developed by the brilliant product management team at Intercom.

RICE stands for the four factors that Intercom uses to evaluate product ideas.

  1. Reach - How many people will be affected by that feature in a given time? 
  2. Impact - Intercom scores the impact of a specific feature on an individual person level on a scale from 0.5 to 3.
  3. Confidence - How confident we are that this initiative will prove our hypothesis and deliver the desired results
  4. Effort - The total amount of time a feature will require from all team members.

To create this formula follow the steps below: 

Step 1
  • Click on Formulas (formulas.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Formula
    Formula_blank.png
Step 2
  • Name your formula and add a description (optional)
  • Insert the formula equation: Reach x Impact x Confidence ÷ Effort
    Note: If you have not already created the fields required in your space, check out the instruction in the article Add custom fields to your boards.
Note: If the formula is valid you'll see "Formula is valid."

RICE_Saved.png

 

Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)

Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is a prioritization model used to sequence jobs (eg., Features and Capabilities). In the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), WSJF is a prioritization model used to prioritize features by calculating the Cost of Delay (COD) divided by job size to produce maximum economic value.

This framework helps you decide what to put on your product roadmap.

To create this formula follow the steps below: 

Step 1
  • Click on Formulas (formulas.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Formula
    Formula_blank.png
Step 2
  • Name your formula and add a description (optional)
  • Insert the formula equation: (Business Value + Time criticality + Risk reduction) ÷ Estimate size
    Note: If you have not already created the fields required in your space, check out the instruction in the article Add custom fields to your boards.
    Note: If the formula is valid you'll see "Formula is valid."
    WSJF_Valid__1_.png

     

ICE Scoring Model

If you’re looking for a speedy prioritization framework, look no further because the ICE Scoring Model is even more straightforward than the RICE framework.

It’s an excellent starting point if you’re just getting into the habit of prioritizing product initiatives, but it lacks the data-informed objectivity of the rest of the frameworks in this guide.

ICE is an acronym for:

  • Impact – how impactful do we expect this initiative to be?
  • Confidence – how confident we are that this initiative will prove our hypothesis and deliver the desired results?
  • Ease – how easy is this initiative to build and implement? What are the costs of the resources that are going to be needed?

Each of these factors is scored from 1–10, and the total average number is the ICE score.

To create this formula follow the steps below: 

Step 1
  • Click on Formulas (formulas.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Formula
    Formula_blank.png
Step 2
  • Name your formula and add a description (optional)
  • Insert the formula equation: (Impact x Confidence x Ease)
    Note: If you have not already created the fields required in your space, check out the instruction in the article Add custom fields to your boards.
    Note: If the formula is valid you'll see "Formula is valid."
    ICE_Valid__1_.png

     

Value vs effort

To make this framework work, the team has to quantify the value and complexity of each feature, update, fix, or another product initiative.

  • Value is the benefit your customers and your business get out of the feature. Is the feature going to alleviate any customers’ pains, improve their day-to-day workflow, and help them achieve the desired outcome? Also, is the feature going to have a positive impact on the bottom line of your business? 
  • Effort is what it takes for your organization to deliver this feature. It’s not enough that we create a feature that our customers love. The feature or product must also work for our business. Can you afford the cost of building and provisioning the feature? Operational costs, development time, skills, training, technology, and infrastructure costs are just some of the categories that you have to think about when estimating complexity.

If you can get more value with fewer efforts, that’s a feature you should prioritize.

To create this formula follow the steps below: 

Step 1
  • Click on Drivers & Scores (Driver-1.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Field and Select Driver (Driver-1.svg) 
    Add_Driver.png
  • Name the Driver "Value"
    Value.png
Step 2
  • Click on Drivers & Scores (Driver-1.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Field
  • Select Prioritization score (PrioritizationScore-1.svg)
    Drivers___Scores.png
Step 3
  • Name your formula and add a description (optional)
  • Slide the Value range to 100% and Check the box Divide score by effort 

    Value_Effort.png

The KANO Model

The Kano model is a set of guidelines and techniques used to categorize and prioritize customer needs, guide product development and improve customer satisfaction.

The ideas of the Kano Model are based upon the following premises:

  • Customers’ Satisfaction with our product’s features depends on the level of Functionality that is provided (how much or how well they’re implemented);
  • Features can be classified into four categories;
  • You can determine how customers feel about a feature through a questionnaire.

The simplest way we can work through the Kano results is to:

  1. Divide respondents by the demographic / persona criteria that define them;
  2. Categorize each respondent’s answers using the Evaluation table;
  3. Tally the total responses in each category for each feature (and demographic);
  4. Each feature’s category will be the most frequent response (i.e., the mode);
  5. In case of close results between categories, use the following rule (leftmost wins): Must-be > Performance > Attractive > Indifferent;
  6. If you’ve asked respondents for a self-stated importance ranking (and you should), average that for each feature.

You’ll end up with a table like this one:

KANO_table.png

The idea behind the Kano model used in Productboard is that Customer Satisfaction depends on the level of Functionality that a feature provides (how well a feature is implemented).

To create this formula follow the steps below:

Step 1
  • Click on Drivers & Scores (Driver-1.svg) in the sidebar.
  • Click Add Field
  • Select Prioritization score (PrioritizationScore-1.svg)
    Drivers___Scores.png
Step 2
  • Name your formula and add a description (optional)
  • Slide the Satisfier range to 50% and the Delighter range to 50%

    KANO.png

     

For more information on the Prioritization Framework see our blog post, Product Prioritization Frameworks, and for information on creating your own prioritization formulas, see the article Create your own prioritization formulas.

school Productboard Academy Webinar

Learn best practices around using industry-leading prioritization frameworks and custom formula construction in our on-demand webinar. A member of team Productboard will explain key concepts, share tips, and answer all your questions so you feel prepared to hit the ground running.

👉 Watch "Create custom prioritization formulas" 👈

Note: Webinars are available for trial users and paid customers only.

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