Prioritization Techniques

Prioritization techniques are used to optimize the value of deliverables and maximize return on investment. Value-based prioritization is used in backlog grooming, release planning, and iteration planning.

What is Prioritization Techniques

Prioritization techniques are used in collaboration with stakeholders to set priorities for each unit of work to optimize the value of deliverables and maximize return on investment. Some of the prioritization techniques include: Numerical assignment, analytical hierarchical process (AHP), 100 point or cumulative voting method, monopoly money, MoSCoW, Kano analysis model, Wiegers’ method, Requirements prioritization framework, and balancing risk and value. Business value, risk and costs are some of the common factors used in prioritization. These prioritization factors are typically considered when prioritizing requirements, features, improvements, defects, and technical work elements.

Top related courses to Prioritization Techniques

Related methods and techniques to Prioritization Techniques

  • 20/20 vision

    1. 20/20 vision

    The 20/20 vision is a collaborative game and technique of ranking a list of features in order of importance based on the perspectives of the stakeholders.
    The facilitator writes the features on cards and shows them to the stakeholders.
    Stakeholders are asked to to rank the features based on their importance. Cards of lower and higher importance are moved down and up in the list, respectively. The result is a list of features in order of importance.

  • Bang-for the buck

    2. Bang-for the buck

    Team with the customer use the Bang-for-the-buck technique to rank the work items based on the value of each feature and the required estimated effort for the development (cost).
    The team knows the size of the work items best, and the customer knows the business value of the work items best.

    When story points are used in the bang-for-the-buck technique, the benefit value of a work item is the division of the value points by the corresponding story points.

  • Balancing Value and Risk

    3. Balancing Value and Risk

    Balancing Risk and Value method brings the risk and value together for prioritization. Stakeholders use a 2x2 risk-value matrix that maps value and risk from high to low. The mapping helps to make decisions and prioritization from highest to lowest priority as:

    1. High Risk & High Value: Deliver First
    2. Low Risk & High Value: Deliver Next
    3. Low Risk & Low Value: Deliver Last
    4. High Risk & Low Value: Avoid
  • Wiegers’ Method

    4. Wiegers’ Method

    Wiegers’ method makes a relative prioritization using a weighted computation of benefit, penalty, cost, and risk of every feature.
    This method applies only to features whose priority can be negotiated, not to mandatory ones (e.g., to meet compliance, compliance, or regulatory requirements).

  • Dot Voting Or Multi Voting

    5. Dot Voting Or Multi Voting

    In Dot Voting (aka. dotmocracy), each Stakeholder is given a predetermined amount of dots to assign to the business features. After summing up of the dot votes, the features are prioritized and placed in a relative ranking order.

  • Kano Analysis Model

    6. Kano Analysis Model

    Kano Analysis look at perceived customer satisfaction to prioritize a product feature or user story. Kano Analysis looks at five categories:

    1. Must-be quality (Dissatisfiers / Basic): ignored when met, dissatisfied when not met
    2. One-dimensional quality (Satisfiers / Performance): spoken attributes that are promises
    3. Attractive quality (Delighters): nice-to have features, but not necessarily required
    4. Indifferent quality (Neutral): customers are indifferent to the quality feature
    5. Reverse quality: some customers will love, others will hate the feature

    It should be noted that customer satisfaction and expectations change over time and therefore need to be reviewed and addressed on an ongoing basis.

  • MoSCoW

    7. MoSCoW

    MoSCoW is a popular technique for value-based prioritization. Stakeholders would decide on each work unit by assigning:

    • Must have (Mo)
    • Should have (S)
    • Could have (Co)
    • Won’t have (W)
  • Monopoly Money

    8. Monopoly Money

    In Monopoly money approach, stakeholders receive monopoly money in the form of fake currency equal to the amount of the project budget. Stakeholders distribute the Monopoly money among the features that they value most.
    This approach is most effective when limited to prioritizing business features.

  • 100-point Method

    9. 100-point Method

    The 100 point (aka. comulative voting) method is kind of opinion poll to set priorities for items (e.g., features) in a group setting. Each participant in the group is allotted 100 points. Participants assign points to the most important items.
    The result would be weighted distribution of points on the items. Finally, the votes are summed up and the items are ranked in order of highest to lowest number of votes.

  • Numerical Assignment

    10. Numerical Assignment

    Numerical Assignment is a simple scheme for prioritization. The items in the backlog are ranked as

    • Priority one (high)
    • Priority two (medium)
    • Priority three (low)

    However, this method has the risk of prioritizing all items as priority one.

  • Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP)

    11. Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP)

    Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) takes a list of features and does a pairwise relative comparison based on some weighted evaluation-criteria. Accordingly, each feature achieves a total score that is used to derive the relative order.