Practically, do "quick wins" really exist?

I believe that my company’s CEO, salespeople, and project managers all misuse the word.

What I DON’T consider to be a quick win:

  1. Little effort, little impact: If there isn’t much of an impact, you can’t really consider it a swift victory; instead, it’s just a regular improvement.

  2. Not quantifiable I’m a little unsure about this. Well, I’d like to do something to wow a customer, and it would be simple to do, but given that we have had layoffs and a hiring freeze, every second of development time counts.

  3. Short-term impact: This is similar to point #1, except we added another client (B2B) at the expense of work on long-term objectives.

In my opinion, quick wins are effective on a personal level if you can brag to your employer about what you’ve accomplished, but at the corporate level, they would need to be exceedingly uncommon or simply common sense in a brand-new startup.


Your number one, in my opinion, is deceiving you. Your leadership may perceive a small influence as much larger if it occurs at the proper time and is in line with the right strategic goals.


In my opinion, influence and perception go hand in hand, particularly when working with sizable clients. Even if the impact to the product as a whole was minimal, their opinion of the product could drastically shift if you can swiftly fix a defect or implement a tiny UX improvement that they have been requesting. In my opinion, low impact wins frequently have organizational effects that outweigh the impact of the actual product.


Yes, “quick wins” can certainly exist.

In general, a “quick win” is a small and easily achievable goal or objective that can be completed in a short amount of time, usually within a few days or weeks. The idea is to focus on simple and achievable goals that can be accomplished quickly, which can help build momentum, boost motivation, and generate positive results.

While not all goals can be achieved quickly or easily, there are often opportunities to identify small and manageable tasks that can be completed relatively quickly and that will contribute to larger goals over time. For example, if you’re working on a long-term project, you might identify some smaller tasks that can be completed quickly, such as conducting research, drafting an outline, or brainstorming ideas.

It’s important to note, however, that not all goals can or should be accomplished quickly. Some goals may require more time and effort to achieve, and may involve setbacks or challenges along the way. In these cases, it’s important to stay focused and motivated, and to be willing to put in the necessary work to achieve the desired outcome.

Overall, while not all goals can be accomplished quickly or easily, there are often opportunities to identify small and manageable tasks that can be completed quickly, which can help build momentum and generate positive results.


Basically, you may term #1 as a quick win. Low effort, high effect possibilities are preferable, but they are frequently infrequent. You’ll most likely discover low-effort, low-impact options. Bosses will have more faith in your ability to spot chances and carry them out if you have a couple of those under your belt.


Agree @DavidMercy, and confidence to the team too that they can execute well within the space. I always think of them as high impact to the team, especially when the customer-impact is quick and easy to spot, no matter the magnitude.


There is no mention of tech debt in the definition of 1. It cannot involve a minimal effort, yield a modest consumer benefit, and cause considerable tech debt.

If not, stakeholders will continue to use the product for the aforementioned reasons while frustratingly accumulating high levels of technical debt. The tech debt follows bad intent, and it’s death by a thousand cuts.


Low-hanging fruit is a subset of quick wins!


@HeatherKurtz, Came here to say this!

You do have to consider the opportunity cost of not working on something of higher value. But knocking out low-hanging fruit delivers value faster, boosts velocity metrics, and builds confidence and learning within the team.

Edit - as I think about this more, it makes me wonder how much future technical debt might be erased by investing in more “low-impact” activities sooner.


Of course, they do exist. (*unless you’ve done them all)

First off, as a Product Manager, you need a way of quantifying Value for your individual features or initiatives. Once you understand value, and you work with engineering to understanding effort, plot your feature or initiative on a Value vs Effort Matrix


Anything that’s high effort but low value, forget they exist.

High effort and high value? Those are the big initiatives - get your management excited about those so they’re fully funded.

Low effort and low value? I guess, if you’ve got the time, squeeze these in where you need, but this is really filler work.

Low effort but high value? Prioritize this! Your job is maximizing the value your team can deliver, measuring that value, and reporting that upward and outward.

(also as an aside to your point number 2: If you’re doing work but are unwilling or unable to measure it’s value, there’s one out of three outcomes where you’re delivering no value, and one out of three outcomes where you’re actually delivering negative value. Without measurement, what’s the value proposition for your team?)


@DonovanOkang 100% this. It is also very important to communicate this to your stakeholders to align everyone on the roadmap and to make sure they understand how they can contribute to it (or why their pet projects may not be done immediately, if ever…)


I think this is overthinking things. Your long term goals have no guarantee of panning out, and they’re not inherently better because they require more work from you. What you described are all quick wins.


Things like #1 are unquestionably quick wins and they also build upon one another. Consumers might not notice right away but making gradual changes and working to make the product cleaner, simpler to use, and more robust over time pays dividends.

Go to your customer service department, sit some people down, and have a conversation with some of them to uncover some effective quick wins. They undoubtedly can’t wait to disclose their list of product flaws that result in the most CS engagements.


Quick Wins are the activities you’ve left over time and seem to have a huge impact on the business based on the current state… for example, adding an “other” option in a dropdown menu that is generating friction recently because of great marketing activity so you can learn a lot quickly and react accordingly.


For me they (quick wins) do exist. I once made the team improve a badly designed pop-up and doubled the usage rate of product.

Step 1 - I identified this hanging fruit by talking to users Step 2- Validate that the reported hanging fruit is valid for most of the users Step 3 - do the work Step 4 - Release , measure and follow up with users they really felt heard.

Another one was working on a app that had a couple of critical features. In iteration zero (1 week of work) I made the team deliver a version of the app that incorporate juste these critical features with almost no UI. Doing so had a huge impact on the team and the product. And also this assures founders that their dreams are reacheable.

So yeah quick wins exist and you should be always having a bootstrapping mindset to see them and call a shot on them.

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They do but but beware business people saying them. That’s an imaginary shortcut.

In that case take the time to define what that means like stupid t shirt sizing.

Make sure you solidify a scale at the beginning of the conversation. It’s important because a quick win in a startup is different than a win in a big B2B.

For example, a quick win in a startup might be using a public API to add a service your audience wants.

A quick win in B2B might be taking 3-6 months to write a custom salesforce module that 100 customers want.

Scale and details matter.

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