Prioritizing product features is always a hot topic for product teams. Most product teams struggle with determining which features and initiatives to put on the roadmap. Here are popular strategies and frameworks for prioritizing features. By prioritizing the right features, you can make your product stand apart from your competition.

Popular strategies and prioritization frameworks:

  1. Value versus Complexity Quadrant
  2. Weighted Scoring
  3. Kano Model
  4. Opportunity Scoring
  5. Affinity Grouping
  6. Story Mapping

1. Value versus complexity quadrant:

In the Value versus Complexity model, you evaluate every opportunity based on its business value and its relative complexity to implement. This is a common approach adopted by most product teams, and many product managers go through this assessment instinctively every day. The prioritization framework of the matrix is simple: The initiatives that have the highest value and the lowest effort will be the low-hanging fruit for your roadmap.

Value Versus Complexity Quadrant Prioritization Framework

2. Weighted scoring

With weighted scoring, you can continue to use the Value versus Complexity model; but add a layer in scoring to arrive at an objective result.

By using a scoring method to rank the strategic initiatives and major features, product managers can facilitate a more productive discussion about what to include on the product roadmap. While there are many inputs that ultimately go into a product decision, a scoring model can help the team have an objective conversation.

A clear, objective scoring model can also include inputs form other business functions like marketing, designers, business partners or stakeholders. The scoring helps in making an informed choice and pick the initiatives to include in upcoming roadmap.

3. Customer delight versus product function

With the Kano model product managers can look at potential features through the lens of the delight a feature provides customers to improve the product experience with features.

There are some basic features that your product simply needs to have in order for you to sell your product in the market. You need to have these “threshold” features, but continuing to invest in them won’t improve customer delight dramatically.

There are some features (like performance) that give you a proportionate increase in customer satisfaction as you invest in them.

Finally, there are some excitement features that you can invest in that will yield a disproportionate increase in customer delight. If you don’t have these features, customers might not even miss them; but if you include them, and continue to invest in them you will create dramatic customer delight or help .

4. Opportunity scoring

Opportunity scoring is a type of Gap Analysis that comes from outcome-driven innovation. The basic idea is to measure and rank opportunities based on their importance versus customer satisfaction. To conduct opportunity scoring you ask customers to score the importance of each feature and then also score how satisfied they are currently with that feature. The opportunities are those features that are highly important yet customers gave a low satisfaction score.

5. Affinity grouping

Affinity grouping can be a fun prioritization framework activity. Our Product designers conduct affinity grouping sessions with product teams that are trying to understand what to build. The idea is simple: have everyone brainstorm opportunities on sticky notes. Then as a team, begin to group similar items together, and then name the groups. Finally, everyone on the team begins to vote on or rank the groups.

6. Story mapping

Story mapping is used in agile organizations. And is a great way to document the Minimum Viable Product by organizing and prioritizing user stories and the development releases.  The idea, in a nutshell, is you can map out the workflow of the product from beginning to end for each milestone and the long-term roadmap.


Any of these approaches can be used by product teams depending on their working style and team size. Having a definite plan of action following the above proven strategies can help build and enhance software products to make them stand apart from other.

Source: This article first appeared on ProductPlan

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