How do you evaluate and prioritise your ideas?

Hey Folks,

I would like to know how different or same methods are used by each of the PMs.

If possible please do mention your industry too.

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An OST (Opportunity Solution Tree) is what I would use, but start with understanding what your objectives are first. I’m a newbie to the PM world and am working at a SaaS startup.

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Go back to your Why. What are the core problems your product needs to solve for your target audience.

The ideas should be there to answer the value proposition to solve the problem - hence prioritization may be when higher priority ideas are ones that has most chance of solving the problem &can be validated quickly to find some measure of “fit” (some metrics or weighing might matter more to a B2C product than B2B in strategic differentiation/monetization),

Consideration if it a large initiative that is needle moving (requiring more planning, buy in and alignment) vs a smaller idea of incremental gains, in both of these - what matters more to your product at this phase of its life? Ie. are we keeping comp advantage in our market or is this idea radically changing or pivoting our business and is crucial for success and needed right now!

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Honestly, there’s no one framework. Everyone has their own. Even starting at a generic “why” is not really scientific IMO.

IMO, it’s going to a mix of: something that moves product forward (differentiators), backlog/defects, table stakes, improvements, YOUR product sense/intuition.

Take Netflix. You are the PM for Netflix. You have 100 ideas, so does the CEO, so do the angry consumers on Twitter.

For a certain release version, do you prioritize “stop putting Continue Watching section all the way towards the bottom of the Home page” or “efficient streaming in countries with low bandwidth”.

Both solve different problems. All are problems under your “Why” and “OKRs” and your “product goals”

There’s a reason why Netflix hasn’t focused much on Home page, making it annoying to find what you were recently watching…

Also depends on the type of product and its reach

A B2B product’s prioritization is vastly different than B2C

B2B: customer with the most $$ to customer you have to make successful to displace competitors

B2C: what gets the most eyeballs.

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Agreed! Frameworks are helpful to make sure you don’t miss crucial steps in the evaluation process, but no single one is a panacea and should be relied upon in every situation. One of the best ways to evaluate and prioritize is to hold your company, business, and team objectives sacred. Not to say you can’t shift and pivot, but having blinders on for distractions that increase your WIP and reduce the outcomes you’re able to deliver, is definitely something to consider.

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Agree with using Product intuition- only knowledge of customers, metrics understanding and experimentation cycles can make PMs leverage and be confident in validating which ideas to pursue and refine as opposed to some matrix.

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I’m curious about your Netflix homepage statement. Is it just that they have more important things to do or the current homepage is doing the job better than a refresh? Did they experiment with a refresh to know this?

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’Ideas’ is too broad of a term. IMO without any clarification, I would just use RICE prioritization, it has never failed me and I see no reason why it would not work in any context of ‘ideas’.

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I like ICE (Impact + Confidence + Effort) in combination with the Gilad Confidence Meter.

Details here:

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I really like ICE too, ICE with KANO is something I have learned recently and would love to try. But the one in the article says I * C * E, where I learned it as I+C+E… It’s a bit confusing to me. :thinking: Can someone please clarify if the ICE score is the product of the figures or the sum.

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If you have a big backlog, use Cost of Delay, Here it is:

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I prefer to prioritize on customer needs/wants. Before backlog/grooming/planning meetings we review the customer wants and asks and focus the rest of the meeting around the customers wants.

But not everyone likes that exercise, so it just becomes ICE.

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Check out the book “Thinking In Bets” by Annie Duke. Not product management, per se, but very helpful for this topic for me.

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We use the one by Mariano Capezzani:

Evaluation is included in that framework.

If you don’t care to read the article: (TLDR: Know the context, Understand the need, Consider the execution, Arrange the sequence)

Hope it helps you too.

1 Like

@NatashaMartin, Thank you, I speed read it, and I think in short it is a mix of OKR in the beginning so as to understand the Objectives and key results, and then trying KANO and ICE (weighted scoring). If I am wrong do correct me.

Thank you all for your wonderful inputs. Really appreciate the efforts taken by each one of you to take time and respond. :pray:t3: