An empirical guide on feature prioritization

In the history of product management prioritization is always a hot topic. Worst than weather forecasting, better than the stock market.


  • Ranking
  • MoSCoW Technique
  • R.I.C.E. framework
  • Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
  • 5 Why’s
  • Kano Model
  • Opportunity Scoring
  • Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Weighted Scoring framework
  • Eisenhower matrix
  • Value vs Complexity matrix

Feature gathering


  • Must — Must have this requirement to meet the business needs
  • Should — Should have this requirement if possible, but project success does not rely on it
  • Could — Could have this requirement if it does not affect anything else on the project
  • Won’t — Would like to have this requirement later, but delivery won’t be this time
  1. A must-have task comes up to have a simple cheap lightbulb flashing every time the driver needs to notify the other drivers around.
  2. A should-have task continues the previous task that needs a more efficient light that will be seen further and under all weather conditions. So you may need to add a bit more expensive LED lamps in the turn signals.
  3. And last, a could-have task may come up giving a more visual representation of the action that will follow when a driver indicating her intention to switch lanes.


  1. Devise a list of criteria, including costs and benefits, on which you’ll be scoring each initiative.
  2. Determine the respective weights of each criterion you’ll be using to evaluate your competing initiatives. i.e Let’s say you determine that the benefit “Increase Revenue” should be weighted more heavily in the overall score than the cost “Implementation Effort.” Then you will want to assign a greater percentage of the overall score to Increase Revenue.
  3. Assign individual scores for each potential feature or initiative, across all cost-and-benefit metrics, and then calculate these overall scores to determine how to rank your list of items.
Example of a Weighted Score table

Benefit criteria examples

  • Increase Revenue — i.e New clients acquisition, profit channels, CR — Weight: 10
  • Strategic value — i.e Full automated process, AI Support — Weight: 20
  • Customer experience — i.e Improved UX, increase engagement, less complain — Weight: 15

Cost criteria examples

  • Effort — i.e Development hours, complexity — Weight: 20
  • Risk — i.e Ease of rollback, pivots, brand threat — Weight: 25
  • Operational cost — i.e Increase CS work, extra personnel needed — Weight: 10

Extra thoughts



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