10 Prioritization Techniques for Agile Product Development by@heli

10 Prioritization Techniques for Agile Product Development

Heli Patel HackerNoon profile picture

Heli Patel

Growth Manager at TRooTech with a demonstrated history of working for enterprises and expertise in the tech domain.

The product-based organization needs to keep its product updated as per the needs and requirements of its customers. The current shopping trend includes the customers comparing the products of their choice based on the product information, description, technical specifications, costing, etc.

Based on the changing requirements or development, the enterprise should upgrade its product to meet its customers' increasing needs and demands. The product-based company should ensure that they always provide valid, accurate, and updated product details to their end users for the growth of their business.

What Is Agile Product Development?

Based on the requirement or development, the product needs up-gradation to satisfy its customers' needs and better applicability. Agile product development includes developing the product with agile processes and techniques that can easily modify or change as the situation demands. This agile product development is suitable specifically for software products or hardware products, or both.

For any organization, it is important to implement agile product development as they have to manage the critical agile environments dependent on various factors. These include enhanced visibility, predictability, quick response to the business change, variation in the demands and requirements, etc.

There are several benefits of agile product development for the software and hardware as the needs keep changing, and the company needs to stay ahead with the increasing competition. Implementing agile product development is valuable for the development of the product.

Why Is Prioritization in Agile Product Development Important?

Prioritization is important in every operation and process as it helps in proper time management. The prioritization of the process allows for focusing on the crucial task that is urgent and needs prompt attention. This will help the organization properly segregate the processes based on their priorities into high priority and low priority tasks.

Moreover, it will help in proper time and work management. Ignoring the process priorities can lead the company into trouble by not completing the tasks on time and increasing the stress. Prioritization will help in finishing the crucial tasks included in the to-do list.

Also, prioritization allows for keeping track of things by checking the list and not missing any important tasks. It allows for having a bird-eye view of the various processes and operations going on within the organization and focusing on the important ones on a timely basis. With prioritization, different teams within the organization work effectively while saving time, energy, and effort.

Top 10 Prioritization Models to Use on Agile Product Development

The agile product development process is much more complex than the standard process followed by the organization. Prioritization plays a vital role in agile product development and needs proper planning and execution.

1. Eisenhower’s prioritization matrix

It is a classical prioritization matrix system. It includes four squares that allow for defining the priority of the tasks.

  • Square 1: It includes the fundamentally essential urgent tasks and needs prior attention. These tasks should be finished at the earliest.
  • Square 2: It includes a set of essential but not so urgent tasks. The employee or the product manager can complete the task at their hand and then shift to this task and complete it.
  • Square 3: This square includes the tasks that are urgent but not very important. The manager should consider these tasks carefully, involving investing time and then proceeding with their execution.
  • Square 4: It includes the tasks with the lowest priority considering both their urgency and importance.

This matrix considers simplicity and flexibility. It helps define the works that are directly important for strategic development based on their importance and urgency.

2. Value vs Effort matrix

This matrix also has the four squares that help define the value of each of the tasks and the efforts required for the execution of the task.

  • Square 1: It represents Quick wins. This means that the tasks included here have high importance, but they do not require effort.
  • Square 2: This Square represents Big Bets. The tasks in this square are pretty valuable and play a significant role in bringing success to the organization. These tasks will require more time and effort for their execution.
  • Square 3: This Square represents Maybes. The tasks included here are easy to complete and do not need much effort. But these tasks do not have significant importance in the business.
  • Square 4: This represents Time Sinks. These include tasks that have low priority and require minimal effort. One can consider these tasks as not recommended to pay attention to while addressing other important tasks.

3. Value vs Risk matrix

This is also easy to use a matrix to implement prioritization. It involves the use of value and risk for task completion. It categorizes the task into four based on their value and the risk factor involved. The value for each task is defined individually, while the risk for each task is defined based on three different criteria based on time, cost, and functionality.

4. Value vs complexity matrix

This matrix is majorly used by the project and the product managers for evaluating their roadmaps. The implementation of this matrix required a balanced approach between the technical and business aspects. It is similar to the Eisenhower matrix, and the two dimensions define the value and complexity of the different tasks. As per the matrix, the task with the most value and minor complexity should be performed and completed first.

This method is easy to conduct, provides more flexibility, and requires no detailed calculation. The drawback of this method is that it is subjective and can be time-consuming for more extensive business teams. It also required high-cost coordination expenses.

5. MoSCoW prioritization

It is one of the most popularly used prioritization techniques for project management. It is simple to use and includes four major categories for the tasks. This technique enables the organization to evaluate its tasks and perform them accordingly.

  • Must have: These include the mandatory items and needs prior attention. Abandoning these items can lead to failure.
  • Should have: These include the necessary tasks but do not have the highest priority. These will not have much impact on the function but must be implemented.
  • Could have: These items represent the essential tasks and do not require considerable resources. Their absence will not have any significant effect.
  • Would have: These include the items having the lowest importance. These items can be easily omitted or can be rescheduled for the future.

This method is simple, user-friendly, fast, and transparent. It lacks the view of the bigger picture and larger planning.

6. Kano Model

This Kano agile product development prioritization technique allows for taking the product feedback from the users to develop the product. It allows the organization to gain the information that helps them prioritize the essential features for product development.

It allows for determining the impact of each of the features and making the development based on these features. The different categories help gauge the significance of the different features and prioritize them for development. The added advantage of using this model is that it provides the visual representation for getting the details essential for prioritization.

It is one of the simplest prioritization models that teams can use. It provides the strength and weaknesses of the product and ranks based on its value. The main drawback is that the customers’ opinions restrict it.

7. Opportunity scoring

It uses graphs to measure and rank opportunities like satisfaction and importance. It performs the customer survey by asking questions to its clients. The advantage of this method is that it finds the gap in the services and is applied to areas other than product management. The disadvantage is that it will not work on newer products.

8. Story mapping

This method helps provide a holistic view of the customer journey for the product but it relies on the details obtained from the internet access and peer-review process.

9. ICE prioritization

This method uses the ICE score defined by the Impact, Confidence, and Ease. It helps in sorting out the tasks, but these are redundant to the subjectiveness. Different people will score the features differently.

10. RICE prioritization

This method depends on Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. It provides a comprehensive picture and has relevant numbers and matric, but it includes many calculations and is time-consuming.

Is Implementation of Agile Product Development Important?

Competition is increasing in the business world, and the company should try its best to stay ahead of its competitors. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is by providing the best and upgraded products to their customers. For this, the organization needs to implement the agile product development technique.

Also, implementing the prioritization for the various projects and operations will help the company manage the work more efficiently and lead to the strategic development of their product and the growth of the business. Prioritizing the work also leads to proper categorizing of their work and efficient team management within the organization.


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