Product Management

Product Roadmap Prioritization: How-to Guide (With Frameworks)

Content Writer

Athira V S

December 8, 2023

12 mins read

Product Roadmap Prioritization: How-to Guide (With Frameworks)

Imagine you go for a walk. It's a perfect, sunny day, and you enjoy the breeze on your face. Suddenly, a brilliant idea strikes you: an unexpected vision of how to improve your product!

The next day, you convince everyone to pursue the vision, and after a few months, your company releases an improved version of the product. You impatiently wait for messages from delighted customers saying this product update was an ingenious move. But all you get are complaints that it was unnecessary and hindered the customer experience.

How do you avoid such situations? The answer is product roadmap prioritization: adopting a strategic approach to prioritize initiatives that align with business goals and customer needs.

In this article, we’ll explore the critical elements of a prioritized product roadmap, equipping you with tools and frameworks to make informed decisions.

Product prioritization roadmap: A how-to guide

To conduct an effective product prioritization process, follow these steps:

Collect customer feedback

Customer feedback plays such a critical part in product development, as it can help you focus on features and improvements that matter most to users.

You can collect customer feedback in many forms, including:

  • Surveys: Online surveys are a cost-effective way of gathering customer feedback and an invaluable tool for understanding customers' perspectives. You can use a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Keep surveys short and focused to increase the likelihood of completion.
  • Website feedback forms: Enable customers to provide comments, suggestions or report issues by including feedback forms on your website or within your product or service. Remember that simple and user-friendly forms will encourage participation. If you are unsure what questions to ask, use some of the feedback form templates.
  • Email surveys: You can also make the feedback more focused by sending targeted email surveys to specific customer segments. Use the data on the customer interaction with your product or service to personalize the surveys. Incentivize participation with discounts, freebies or exclusive access.
  • Social media: Engage with customers on social media platforms and encourage them to talk about their experiences. Since social media are an environment where customers feel free to express their genuine feelings and opinions, monitor those channels for unsolicited feedback like comments and mentions.
  • Customer interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with selected customers to dive deeper into their experiences. Use open-ended questions to encourage detailed responses. 
  • Website analytics: Use website analytics to monitor bounce rates, time on page and other relevant metrics. Tracking user behavior will help you identify potential areas for improvement.
  • Focus groups: Gather in-depth qualitative feedback by organizing focus groups with a diverse set of customers. This method is particularly useful for new product launches or major updates.
  • Customer support interactions: Analyze customer support interactions for insights into common issues and concerns. Encourage customer support representatives to proactively ask for feedback during interactions.

Analyze feedback to identify action items

After you have collected the feedback, centralize it and organize it in a structured manner. Categorize comments based on themes or topics, making it easier to identify patterns and trends.

Distinguish between quantitative data (numerical metrics, ratings) and qualitative data (descriptive comments, opinions). Both types provide valuable insights, and a combined analysis often gives a holistic view.

But be careful. Trying to perform customer feedback analysis manually can take plenty of time and be susceptible to human error and bias.

Thus, we recommend performing this step using customer feedback tools such as Zeda.io, which extracts valuable insights from incoming feedback and provides you with detailed reports.

The benefits of using Zeda.io for customer feedback analysis include streamlined data centralization, effective feedback segmentation and AI-powered insights on what to build next.

Prioritize action items using prioritization frameworks

After you have analyzed customer feedback and identified action items, a challenging task for a product manager is prioritizing product features

Below, we explain different product prioritization frameworks to help you decide what features you should work on first:

RICE

With the RICE model, you estimate the importance of feature requests based on four criteria:

  • Reach: How many users will this action affect?
  • Impact: How much will this action impact each user?
  • Confidence: How certain are you that the initiative will be successful?
  • Effort: What is the estimated time and resources required to implement the action?
RICE Framework

Assign 1-10 score to each criterion and then calculate the RICE score using the formula:

RICE = (Reach × Impact × Confidence) / Effort

Higher scores indicate higher priority.

Value vs effort

Evaluate each feature based on its perceived value and the effort required for implementation. 

  1. To measure value, consider how much the feature helps reach business KPIs (key performance indicators) and how it impacts customer satisfaction. 
  2. To measure effort, consider the amount of time and costs for implementing it.
Value-Effort

Plot the items on a two-dimensional matrix with value on one axis and effort on the other. Focus on items in the high-value, low-effort quadrant for prioritization.

ICE

ICE scoring prioritization model evaluates the product's features based on three factors: 

  • Impact: How will this action impact the users and our business?
  • Confidence: How confident are you in its impact?
  • Ease: How easy is it to implement this feature?
ICE Prioritization Technique

Calculate the ICE score using the formula: ICE = Impact × Confidence × Ease. Like RICE, higher scores indicate higher priority.

Kano

Kano prioritization model allows product teams to prioritize based on customer opinions, dividing features into five categories:

  • Basic 
  • Performance 
  • Excitement 
  • Indifferent
  • Dissatisfaction
Kano Prioritization

Those features that have the potential to delight customers and meet their essential requirements get the highest priority.

MoSCoW

MoSCoW product prioritization framework categorizes features into four groups:

  • Must have: Features that ensure the correct functioning of the product
  • Should have: Items that are essential but not critical
  • Could have: Desirable features that would be a nice addition to the product but are not urgent
  • Won't have: Features that you may address in the future but won't include in the current iteration
MoSCoW

Opportunity scoring

Opportunity Scoring

This approach focuses on identifying unfulfilled customer desires ("opportunities") that a product can address. 

To conduct opportunity scoring, ask customers to evaluate the importance of the existing features and their satisfaction level with each. Those that get high importance and low satisfaction scores are the opportunities you should prioritize.

Zeda.io helps you perform an effective product prioritization process. It gives you the flexibility to choose between the RICE or Value vs Effort framework and score them accordingly. You can also set up your own customized prioritization framework in the settings. Moreover, our dashboard allows you to sort features based on their prioritization score.

Conclusion

Product roadmap prioritization is an ongoing process that requires adaptability and endless learning. If you want to succeed in this continuous product discovery process, take advantage of the proper software.

Zeda.io is the best product discovery tool to help you understand customer pain points, preferences and expectations and make more customer-centric decisions on the features to build.

This AI-powered tool gathers customer feedback from various sources and extracts valuable insights to provide rich data and detailed reports. It helps you avoid the tedious process of manual analysis and build an effective product development roadmap. Why not check how the tool works? We give you a 15-day free trial (no credit card required), so sign up today!

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FAQs

How do you create and prioritize a product roadmap?

To create a prioritized roadmap, start by conducting competitor and market research and considering internal factors, such as your resources and whether the product or features align with broader business objectives. Choose a user feedback tool that will provide actionable data to help you with customer-based product ideation. Then, prioritize features using the prioritization frameworks mentioned in this article.You can also check these product roadmap examples to find the one that will help you execute your product vision and achieve business goals.

What are the 4 categories for prioritization?

The four categories of prioritization commonly used in product management are often represented by the MoSCoW method. MoSCoW is an acronym that stands for: Must-haves: The non-negotiable features or requirements that the product or project must include to be considered successful. Should-haves: Important features that are not critical but significantly enhance the product's value. Could-haves: Desirable but not essential features. They represent nice-to-have features that you can implement if resources and time permit. Won't-haves: Features you will not address in the current iteration or release due to time or resource constraints.

What is the 3x3 prioritization method?

The 3x3 prioritization framework helps product managers organize tasks based on their impact on the user and the level of effort its implementation would take. It involves creating a 3x3 grid with high, medium and low squares for effort and the same square categories for impact. Then, you place the potential features into appropriate squares to see which to prioritize.

Product Management

Product Roadmap Prioritization: How-to Guide (With Frameworks)

Athira V S
Content Writer
December 8, 2023
12 mins read
14-day free trial

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IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion
IN THIS ARTICLE:
  1. What are product discovery techniques?
  2. 8 key product discovery techniques link
  3. Conclusion

Imagine you go for a walk. It's a perfect, sunny day, and you enjoy the breeze on your face. Suddenly, a brilliant idea strikes you: an unexpected vision of how to improve your product!

The next day, you convince everyone to pursue the vision, and after a few months, your company releases an improved version of the product. You impatiently wait for messages from delighted customers saying this product update was an ingenious move. But all you get are complaints that it was unnecessary and hindered the customer experience.

How do you avoid such situations? The answer is product roadmap prioritization: adopting a strategic approach to prioritize initiatives that align with business goals and customer needs.

In this article, we’ll explore the critical elements of a prioritized product roadmap, equipping you with tools and frameworks to make informed decisions.

Product prioritization roadmap: A how-to guide

To conduct an effective product prioritization process, follow these steps:

Collect customer feedback

Customer feedback plays such a critical part in product development, as it can help you focus on features and improvements that matter most to users.

You can collect customer feedback in many forms, including:

  • Surveys: Online surveys are a cost-effective way of gathering customer feedback and an invaluable tool for understanding customers' perspectives. You can use a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Keep surveys short and focused to increase the likelihood of completion.
  • Website feedback forms: Enable customers to provide comments, suggestions or report issues by including feedback forms on your website or within your product or service. Remember that simple and user-friendly forms will encourage participation. If you are unsure what questions to ask, use some of the feedback form templates.
  • Email surveys: You can also make the feedback more focused by sending targeted email surveys to specific customer segments. Use the data on the customer interaction with your product or service to personalize the surveys. Incentivize participation with discounts, freebies or exclusive access.
  • Social media: Engage with customers on social media platforms and encourage them to talk about their experiences. Since social media are an environment where customers feel free to express their genuine feelings and opinions, monitor those channels for unsolicited feedback like comments and mentions.
  • Customer interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with selected customers to dive deeper into their experiences. Use open-ended questions to encourage detailed responses. 
  • Website analytics: Use website analytics to monitor bounce rates, time on page and other relevant metrics. Tracking user behavior will help you identify potential areas for improvement.
  • Focus groups: Gather in-depth qualitative feedback by organizing focus groups with a diverse set of customers. This method is particularly useful for new product launches or major updates.
  • Customer support interactions: Analyze customer support interactions for insights into common issues and concerns. Encourage customer support representatives to proactively ask for feedback during interactions.

Analyze feedback to identify action items

After you have collected the feedback, centralize it and organize it in a structured manner. Categorize comments based on themes or topics, making it easier to identify patterns and trends.

Distinguish between quantitative data (numerical metrics, ratings) and qualitative data (descriptive comments, opinions). Both types provide valuable insights, and a combined analysis often gives a holistic view.

But be careful. Trying to perform customer feedback analysis manually can take plenty of time and be susceptible to human error and bias.

Thus, we recommend performing this step using customer feedback tools such as Zeda.io, which extracts valuable insights from incoming feedback and provides you with detailed reports.

The benefits of using Zeda.io for customer feedback analysis include streamlined data centralization, effective feedback segmentation and AI-powered insights on what to build next.

Prioritize action items using prioritization frameworks

After you have analyzed customer feedback and identified action items, a challenging task for a product manager is prioritizing product features

Below, we explain different product prioritization frameworks to help you decide what features you should work on first:

RICE

With the RICE model, you estimate the importance of feature requests based on four criteria:

  • Reach: How many users will this action affect?
  • Impact: How much will this action impact each user?
  • Confidence: How certain are you that the initiative will be successful?
  • Effort: What is the estimated time and resources required to implement the action?
RICE Framework

Assign 1-10 score to each criterion and then calculate the RICE score using the formula:

RICE = (Reach × Impact × Confidence) / Effort

Higher scores indicate higher priority.

Value vs effort

Evaluate each feature based on its perceived value and the effort required for implementation. 

  1. To measure value, consider how much the feature helps reach business KPIs (key performance indicators) and how it impacts customer satisfaction. 
  2. To measure effort, consider the amount of time and costs for implementing it.
Value-Effort

Plot the items on a two-dimensional matrix with value on one axis and effort on the other. Focus on items in the high-value, low-effort quadrant for prioritization.

ICE

ICE scoring prioritization model evaluates the product's features based on three factors: 

  • Impact: How will this action impact the users and our business?
  • Confidence: How confident are you in its impact?
  • Ease: How easy is it to implement this feature?
ICE Prioritization Technique

Calculate the ICE score using the formula: ICE = Impact × Confidence × Ease. Like RICE, higher scores indicate higher priority.

Kano

Kano prioritization model allows product teams to prioritize based on customer opinions, dividing features into five categories:

  • Basic 
  • Performance 
  • Excitement 
  • Indifferent
  • Dissatisfaction
Kano Prioritization

Those features that have the potential to delight customers and meet their essential requirements get the highest priority.

MoSCoW

MoSCoW product prioritization framework categorizes features into four groups:

  • Must have: Features that ensure the correct functioning of the product
  • Should have: Items that are essential but not critical
  • Could have: Desirable features that would be a nice addition to the product but are not urgent
  • Won't have: Features that you may address in the future but won't include in the current iteration
MoSCoW

Opportunity scoring

Opportunity Scoring

This approach focuses on identifying unfulfilled customer desires ("opportunities") that a product can address. 

To conduct opportunity scoring, ask customers to evaluate the importance of the existing features and their satisfaction level with each. Those that get high importance and low satisfaction scores are the opportunities you should prioritize.

Zeda.io helps you perform an effective product prioritization process. It gives you the flexibility to choose between the RICE or Value vs Effort framework and score them accordingly. You can also set up your own customized prioritization framework in the settings. Moreover, our dashboard allows you to sort features based on their prioritization score.

Conclusion

Product roadmap prioritization is an ongoing process that requires adaptability and endless learning. If you want to succeed in this continuous product discovery process, take advantage of the proper software.

Zeda.io is the best product discovery tool to help you understand customer pain points, preferences and expectations and make more customer-centric decisions on the features to build.

This AI-powered tool gathers customer feedback from various sources and extracts valuable insights to provide rich data and detailed reports. It helps you avoid the tedious process of manual analysis and build an effective product development roadmap. Why not check how the tool works? We give you a 15-day free trial (no credit card required), so sign up today!

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