Backlog Prioritization *Further Refined*


A few months ago I shared a blog post on updated prioritization of software backlog. This has been further refined to simplify the field values and effectively signify the cumulative effect of various parameters.

Check out the new framework here.

For more details on the prioritization approach and right mix of features, see the original post here.


Feature Prioritization *New*

Back in 2011, I made this blog post on prioritization of product features, and the prioritization template looked like this.

Over the years, I have been updating the format and refining it to ensure it articulates the objective prioritization and shepherds the product towards product-market fit — the latest is here.

In general, features will have to be categorized into three backlogs. The backlogs have been named by lifting NBA terminology for self explanation.

  • Offensive Play — features that aid revenue generation and acquire new customers
  • Defensive Play — features that aid in delighting and retaining existing customers
  • Time out — features that aid cost cutting such as those that reduce product returns, reduce customer service costs, improve operational efficiency, tech deprioritizationbt, etc.

Product Managers will have to ensure appropriate ‘plays’ are adopted depending on business needs, including a mix of features from more than one backlog in a release, for creating customer value, generating competitive advantage, and delivering profitability.

Few takeaways:

  • Strike the right balance between offensive and defensive plays
  • Features that can be implemented in a shorter time are *not* always the ‘right thing’ to do
  • Always look at relative priority and the objective impact a feature will have on customer value, ROI, and overall purpose

Would love to hear what’s on your mind!

Describing Product Management in One Word

As many of us are very well familiar, Product Managers have to constantly interact with a number of organizational interfaces. There is always the tiff of resource constraints, attitude issues, tough personalities, et al.

If I have to ask you to define Product Management in one word, what would that word be?

There may be a number of answers:

1. Customer
2. Product
3. Problem
4. Market Segment
5. ROI
6. Revenue, and the list continues…

In fact, there is no incorrect answer to this question. All of the aforementioned words, and much more, are correct. But the one word I would chase down is “optimization”.

I believe optimization is key to product deliverables. No matter what the market is demanding, how irate are those bunch of customers who have been waiting for enhancements for months, how much a sales rep could guarantee revenue for a particular product, all of it boils down to what we can do with the available resources which is by-the-way “always limited!”. What can be delivered with available resources and stringent budget allocations within a reasonable timeline is always a challenge.

So, “optimization” will be the one word I advocate new Product Managers to strive to achieve.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Note: This article of mine is a spin-off of a similar article from a famous Product Management blog. I thought I should have an article of my own as this is the one thing I strive to achieve almost everyday at work.