Agile Software Development

Product Prioritization: How Do You Do It?

How does prioritizing features work in your organization? Do you think it agrees with the ways others do it? In a post at Mind the Product, Kate Bennet shares data from a survey of 50 product managers about how they prioritize. Now you can find out how normal you are.

Featured Data

In 35 percent of cases, the leadership team decides what will be built next. For another 28 percent, it is the product team. And only 13 percent of product managers have the power to make those decisions themselves. Sixty-four percent of teams spend a few hours per week on feature prioritization, 15 percent spend 1-2 days on it, and 7 percent spend no time at all on it (weird).

On the subject of using data to drive prioritization, Bennet finds that “data isn’t king” yet:

Software companies may claim that they’re data driven, but just two survey respondents use only product data to make decisions.

Being data informed is closer to the truth, with 60% to 70% of respondents listing product data and/or customer feedback as a data source. Gut feel and CEO preference are still important, each being listed by about 43% respondents.

An honorary mention goes to sales, which was mentioned by 6% of respondents.

Likewise, a large majority of respondents are just using Excel and/or Jira for their prioritization needs, in spite of the presence of more fitting options.

As for how product managers feel overall about their prioritization process, it was most common for them to score their process as a 3 on a 5-point scale, with 4 being second-most common. Bennet interprets this as a sign that organizations are still working out the best ways to do things.

Based on the data, she further offers three concluding tips for product managers:

  1. Approach prioritization as a product: experiment and iterate.
  2. Polish your communication and persuasion skills.
  3. Make time for metrics.

For additional elaboration on all of these subjects, you can view the original post here:

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