In this 2015 post, Jason Burke, then VP of Product at a Boston-based start-up called clypd, offers some advice on how product managers can prioritise when they’re faced with endless lists of work to be done.
You can’t do it all, says Jason, and there’s the problem. Included on the lists are features that someone has identified some value in. He says: “However, whether a company is Google-sized or is an early-stage startup, resources are always finite and tomorrow always comes quicker than expected, making proper prioritization imperative.”
He runs through some questions to ask when prioritising work:
What do we want to do? Identify high-level business themes.
How will this feature benefit the business? Is it worth the investment required to build?
What is the cost to build? This may be money or time.
Jason says that the output of a solid prioritisation plan may surprise stakeholders when features that initially seemed to be must-haves end up at the bottom of the list. An effective plan for product development includes prioritisation as its most important facet. Creating that plan requires the discipline to use data and analysis to strategically say no and to say it often.
Read Jason’s post Just Say No: Hard Decisions in Product Management, in full.