With that in mind, I was browsing a Y-Combinator interview with Brian Donohue, the President of Instapaper, acquired by Pinterest. I thought it was worth sharing.
Brian provided a simplified prioritization technique WITH 2 super-important axes that Product Managers commonly forget because they are “in the weeds”.
Brian would build a table with the following:
- Did users request it
- Does it give us a competitive advantage
- Can we build it into the business model
The first is a no-brainer** if you have a good user-base and repeated asks***.
Second and Third are harder for the Product Manager because often the backlog is so large and detailed its easily to forget to challenge your decisions with a more commercial hat on.
So Brian’s method offers a very pragmatic top-down approach to getting a feature on the roadmap. One way we are trying to do this at Contextual is to map from quarterly OKRs to sprint planning.
Typically we go from:
- Trello Board
- Challenge against quarterly team and company OKRs
- Sprint Plan
Its a work-in-progress and still subject to bias but you might like to try adding Brian’s dimensions to your method.
BTW: my good friend Scott Middleton CEO of Jirio/Strategos and Founder of Terem created an Epic List of Every Product Prioritization Frameworks
** if you are not Steve Jobs.
*** we’re also experimenting as an “ideas-driven organization” as inspired by the book titled The Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power in Bottom-Up Ideas by Robinson & Schroeder.
Here is interview with Brian.