Pick Your Prioritisation Weapon

Updated 23. May 2023

As a CPO, PM, or Analyst, you are choosing the right product weapon (toolset) is equally essential as choosing your product battlefield (market). This is especially important when setting up or re-configuring Your team’s system (way of work). 

Check out the previous blog, where we briefly mentioned systems. 

Already, we’ve described the following prioritization frameworks:

  • Assumption testing

  • The Buc method

  • The MoSCoW method.

This blog will describe other frameworks that can help you with prioritization.

A list of Frameworks mentioned in this Blog post:

  • Buy A Feature

  • Constraints Framework

  • Cost Of Delay

  • ICE Scoring Model / Scorecard

  • Jobs-to-be-done framework

  • Kano Model

  • KJ Method

  • Opportunity Framework

  • Priority Poker

  • RICE Method

  • Story Mapping

  • The Product Tree

  • Value Vs. Effort

  • Weighted Scoring

  • Weighted Shortest Job First

Buy A Feature

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Buy-a-Feature framework, a unique approach to feature prioritization that puts the power in the hands of your customers. By giving decision-making power to your customers, you can ensure that your product is tailored to their needs and preferences.

🎈Where to use?

B2B. When you have several big customers, each has its wishes and requests. You can use it on Epics, User Stories, or tasks.

🤓How to?


To play the game, identify potential features to be considered for development and exclude those that have already been confirmed or are must-haves. Price out features to encourage customer interaction and negotiation, and group customers based on the types of features you prioritize, keeping in mind the percentage of each group's market for your product. Create "money" for the game using your products' logo, poker chips, or candy to make the game fun and enjoyable.


  1. Inform players that this is a game and does not guarantee or promise the development of the chosen features.

  2. List features and prices: Present the potential features and the fees associated with each feature.

  3. Give players money: Give participants a fixed amount of "money" to use for buying features. Encourage negotiation.

  4. Customers "buy" features: Allow players to buy the available features with the provided "money." Have team facilitators present to answer questions and document discussions and debates for later internal review.

  5. Review purchases: Once the players have run out of money, have them explain why they purchased the features they did and why they chose to forgo others. This can provide valuable learning for the customers on prioritizing their own needs for the product.

In conclusion, the Buy-a-Feature game effectively prioritizes features for your product development when resources are limited. By giving customers the power to decide which features they consider most important, organizations can gain valuable insights into which features are considered "must-haves" by the market. It is an ideal framework for building more features than the resources available.

Constraints Framework

🎈Where to use?

Use it to identify constraints in Epics, User stories, or tasks.

The constraints framework aids product teams in prioritizing features by considering various constraints, which is helpful in categorizing basic features for an MVP.

🤓How to?

  1. Identify specific constraints such as time, budget, or resources.

  2. Rank the identified constraints by assigning them a priority number or using a weighted ranking system (Higher priority items are given higher weight).

  3. Prioritize features by ranking them by importance and selecting the top 1-3 features to focus on.

Cost Of Delay

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🎈Where to use?

Use it for Epics and more extensive initiatives such as introducing new products. 

This framework allows for effective decision-making by recognizing the importance of understanding the urgency and value of a task.

For Example, in software development, CoD would be the amount of money lost by delaying the release of a valuable feature. In IT operations, CoD would be the money lost by failing to deliver a strategic initiative. CoD is an important metric as it considers the urgency and value of a task, which is often difficult for humans to distinguish. Understanding both enables better decision-making.

🤓How to?

  1. Anticipate the profit earned per week after delivering the project to the market. For example, if a SaaS company plans to release a new add-on feature that is expected to bring in $20,000 per week, every week the release is delayed will cost the company that sum.

  2. To select the most suitable action plan, define each project's "CD3" value by dividing the delay cost by the project duration.

  3. Take the three projects planned for the near future, all of which will bring value to customers and profit to the company, and choose the order of delivery by considering the CD3 value of each project.

  4. To calculate the CD3 value of each project:

    1. Calculate the expected weekly profit/value of the project.

    2. Calculate the approximate duration of the project.

    3. Divide the profit by the estimated project duration.

Calculating a project's CD3 value (cost of delay divided by project duration) will allow you to prioritize and make more informed decisions about which projects to focus on. The higher the CD3 value, the more critical the project becomes economically.

To prioritize projects using the cost of delay calculation, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Visualize the different completion scenarios for each project.

  2. Analyze the impact of prioritizing each project on the cost of delay.

  3. Compare the various scenarios to determine which project should be prioritized.

This process will allow you to make informed decisions on which projects to focus on based on the potential cost of delay.

ICE Scoring Model / Scorecard

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🎈Where to use?

Use it for Epics and more extensive initiatives such as introducing new products.

Sean Ellis created the ICE score prioritization method to prioritize growth experiments. However, the technique is now commonly used for feature prioritization as well.

The acronym stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease, and each of these factors is assigned a score on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Impact - Will this new feature make a significant positive impact on the user experience? And if so, to what degree? It's important to remember that Impact is one of the key factors determining how important this initiative is for your organization to pursue.

Impact Score

Impact Description


Very low impact

2 - 5

Minimal impact

6 - 8

Measurable impact

9 - 10

Significant impact

Confidence - Teams can determine scores through a combination of analytics from similar previous initiatives, gut instinct, or both. Ask yourself: How certain are you that this feature or initiative will be positively received? How much of a risk is it to invest time and resources into this?

Confidence Score

Confidence Description


Very low confidence

2 - 5

Minimal confidence

6 - 8

Measurable confidence

9 - 10

Significant confidence

Ease -  How much will this feature affect the workload and workflow of the team responsible for it? Ask yourself: How simple or complicated will developing, testing, and launching this feature be?

Ease Score

Time Frame

1 - 2

Long (3-6 months)

3 - 5

Significant (2 months)

6 - 7

Minimal (1 month)

8 - 10

Short (2 weeks)

🤓How to?

  1. Identify the initiative or feature you want to evaluate.

  2. Assign a score from 1 to 10 for each category: Impact, Confidence, and Ease.

  3. Multiply the scores for each category to get the total score for the initiative.

  4. Compare the total scores for all initiatives or features being evaluated.

  5. Prioritize the initiatives or features based on the highest scores.

For example:

Feature A: Impact (9) x Confidence (7) x Ease (3) = 189

Feature B: Impact (8) x Confidence (8) x Ease (7) = 448

You can see that feature B scores higher, so you prioritize Feature B before Feature A.

Jobs-to-be-done framework

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🎈Where to use?

Use this framework when discovering new products on top of your product stack or a new product.

The JTBD approach allows a deeper understanding of how customers use products and services to accomplish specific tasks or goals. Instead of viewing customers as simply purchasing a product, it recognizes that they are "hiring" solutions to fulfill a need. While some knowledge of survey design and statistics may help implement this technique, it can also be applied without expert assistance. By understanding the jobs to be done, businesses can better meet the needs of their customers and innovate accordingly.

🤓How to?

  1. Pinpoint the Jobs that Customers are Attempting to Accomplish. To identify opportunities for innovation, it is essential to understand the tasks and needs customers are trying to fulfill and the current solutions available to them. Look for situations where customers have created solutions or have no good options. These are indicators of potential areas for innovation.

  2. Organize the Jobs or Needs identified Into Groups or Categories. The "job" that customers seek to accomplish has various requirements, including functional, emotional, and social factors. This highlights the importance of considering the context and circumstances in understanding customers' needs. The framework breaks down the tasks customers want to accomplish into two categories: main jobs and related jobs. Main jobs describe the primary task customers wish to achieve, while related jobs are tasks that customers want to accomplish alongside the main job. Additionally, JTBDs can be further broken down into functional and emotional aspects, and dynamic elements are further divided into personal and social dimensions. An example of JTBD is the job of organizing and managing music for personal use, which includes a functional aspect of listening to music, the related emotional/personal part of organizing and managing music in a way that feels good, and the emotional/social aspect of sharing songs with friends.

  3. Define Competitors. When a customer has a specific task or "job" to accomplish, such as satisfying hunger on the go, they may consider various options to fulfill that job, such as a pizza, sandwich, burrito, sushi, Snickers, or even choose to wait for another opportunity to eat. Understanding what products a customer considers competition for their job provides valuable insight into how to position your product or service. This also highlights that your product may compete with a diverse range of services and products that are not necessarily in the same category.

  4. Create Job Statements. The core elements of a job statement are a verb that describes an action, the subject of the activity, and an explanation of the circumstances in which the job is being done.

    1. Example: Verb (“Decrease the time”) + Object of the verb (“For physicians") + Contextual modifier (“When they’re searching information on a computer”) + Example of the object of the verb (“for example, searching for laboratory results, or appropriate medications”). “Decrease the time for physicians when searching information on the computer, for example, for laboratory results or appropriate medications.”

  5. Assess the job statements you’ve listed. Conduct short research with your internal team or gather customer feedback. Ask them about the following:

    1. Importance of the job statement

    2. Current satisfaction with the job statement

  6. Visualize job statements with the graph, and see which jobs are:

    1. Under-served: A primary strategy for growth innovation is to improve existing solutions.

    2. Over-served: Disruptive innovation strategy is about redesigning the solution to make it accessible to those who cannot afford the current solution.

    3. Served-right: If your analysis indicates potential in the currently serving areas, you should concentrate on related jobs to be done.

Image Source: Tilda Education

  1. Identify the Expected Outcomes for the Related JTBDs. What are the factors that the customer would consider when choosing a solution? 

    1. Consider time, cost, quality, ease of use, and other factors that affect satisfaction. Outcome expectations relate to specific desires for the JTBD rather than specific solutions.

    2. There are 4 different expectations for the outcome:

      1. Desired Outcomes for Customers

      2. Undesired Outcomes for Customers

      3. Desired Outcomes for Providers

      4. Undesired Outcomes for Providers

    3. Example: For example, the job of maintaining a well-manicured lawn has many associated outcome expectations, such as preventing weed growth, achieving a certain level of lushness and greenness, and being able to control the height of the grass easily.

  2. Formulate Outcome Statements. Use consistent language (and one that customers understand)  to clearly state desired improvements and measurements for the object of control.

    1. General form: Improvement + measure + object of control

    2. Example: Direction of improvement (“Decrease”)+ Unit of measure (“time”) + Object of control (“of physicians”) + Contextual clarifier (“while they’re using a computer”) + Example of the object of control (“for example, when they’re prescribing medications”). “Decrease physicians' time while they’re using computers, for example, when prescribing medications.”

  3. Prioritize accordingly.

Kano Model

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The model classifies customer needs into three categories: basic, performance, and delight, and is based on the principle that different types of customer needs exist.

🎈Where to use?

Use it when time is limited.

🤓How to?

  1. Gather all the customer needs, features, and requirements

  2. Step into the shoes of the customers and ask: 

    1. How would customers feel if they had the feature?

    2. How do they feel they don’t have the feature?

  3. Use the visual representation to categorize features accordingly:

Image Source: Quality Gurus

  1. Assess and weigh features’ ability to satisfy customers (current User satisfaction) against their functionality (practicality).

  2. Input the answers into the model on the vertical axis.

  3. Evaluate each feature in terms of improved functionality and place them on the horizontal axis.

  4. Prioritize accordingly.

KJ Method

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🎈Where to use?

Use it when time and resources are limited.

🤓How to?

  1. Gather all the features and requirements and write every feature on its own paper card.

  2. Group the cards by features.

  3. Shuffle the cards inside groups.

  4. Each person picks two random cards.

  5. Next, a person or a group compares two features and picks the one they think is more important.

  6. Do that for all the pairs.

  7. Rank and pick the most important groups and features inside them.

Opportunity Framework

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🎈Where to use?

Use the framework to identify essential features that customers are currently unhappy with in order to improve them and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Also, to attract new customers.

🤓How to?

  1. Gather all the features and requirements that you would like to prioritize.

  2. For every feature, ask the following two questions:

    1. How important is this feature or outcome to you on a 1 - 5 scale?

    2. How satisfied are you with how the product delivers today on a 1- 5 scale?

  3. Come up with a weighted equation:

    1. Importance + max(importance – satisfaction,0) = opportunity.

    2. importance + (importance – satisfaction) = opportunity.

Also, Opportunity scoring analysis can identify high-ROI features and areas where resources are over-allocated by placing low-importance, high-satisfaction features to shift resources from.

Priority Poker

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🎈Where to use?

Product Managers must consider the insights and knowledge of stakeholders when making decisions. Still, conflicting opinions among team members and stakeholders can lead to unproductive meetings and delays in product launches.

🤓How to?

  1. Pick items you would like to prioritize and discuss with your internal or external stakeholders.

  2. Invite “players” (internal and external stakeholders with extensive knowledge and expertise on the topics).

  3. Every player rates every item:

    1. Value

      1. Financial approximation of the feature.

      2. Customer Value

        1. S

        2. M

        3. L

    2. Cost

      1. Development of analysis cost.

    3. Must-have

      1. They consider this a must-have.

  4. For every feature of interest, analyze the results to discover features to prioritize.

RICE Method

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It stands for Reachability (how many people can use the feature), Impact (the level of impact the feature has), Confidence (how certain we are of the influence), and Effort (how much effort is required to implement the feature).

🎈Where to use?

When faced with many features and multiple stakeholders with strong opinions. It can be time-consuming and requires a high level of discipline. 

🤓How to?

  1. Gather features, user stories, and epics to prioritize

  2. For every item, ask the following questions and scale it from 1 (low) - 5 (high/quick):

    1. How many people will benefit from it?

    2. What’s the level of impact?

    3. What is the level of confidence about the influence of the feature?

    4. Level of effort to implement the feature? (High score is actually quick to implement)

  3. Summarize the score for every item and rank the priorities from highest to lowest score.

Story Mapping

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🎈Where to use?

To create a clear path of critical items for users to complete their tasks and have a holistic view of the user journey, it is essential to understand the acceptance criteria deeply.

🤓How to?

  1. Before building a user story map, ensure that you clearly understand the problems your product solves, the types of users it serves, and their needs.

  2. Invite relevant stakeholders to the session.

  3. Use sticky notes on a large empty wall or digital whiteboard (e.g., Miro) to build the story.

  4. Break down feature requests and make product decisions while creating a visual view of user stories:

    1. Activity (Feature)

    2. Steps - required to finish the features.

    3. Detail - Lay down facts for every step you described previously.

  5. Prioritize, make decisions, and create a visual representation of user stories.

The Product Tree

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🎈Where to use?

Collaborate with customers to understand their desired investment in the product and prioritize features in a structured manner, but keep in mind that this method is not highly quantitative.

🤓How to?

  1. Gather team, features, and requirements.

  2. Prepare a virtual environment (e.g., Miro)  with the constituents.

  3. Understand the main constituents:

    1. The trunk represents the core features of the product.

    2. Branches represent feature branches, with thicker branches indicating higher importance.

    3. Leaves represent individual features placed on branches closer to the trunk, indicating a higher likelihood of delivery.

    4. Roots represent the product's infrastructure, needing more support as the feature list expands.

  4. Prepare leaves.

  5. Place it on the virtual tree you’ve prepared.

  6. Prune it together with your team.

  7. Analyze

    1. Check which features got pruned, especially if working with customers.

    2. Observe if the tree shape is imbalanced, indicating a problem with user awareness or interest.

    3. Consider if the product is growing fast enough; more leaves close to the trunk indicate a slow release of new features.

    4. Pay attention to the root system; infrastructure changes may indicate customers' trust in the product's longevity.

Value Vs. Effort

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🎈Where to use?

Quickly measure or describe features and agree on priority with stakeholders, but may have errors and may be difficult with many stakeholders.

🤓How to?

  1. Identify the initiative under consideration.

  2. Assess the anticipated value of the initiative.

    1. Evaluate the initiative's user value and business value (e.g., pain reduction, efficiency, customer acquisition, retention, upselling, revenue)

  3. Assess the effort required to implement the initiative.

    1. The initiative's cost to the business and the effort required to implement it. It can be measured by a single metric or subcategories such as operational cost, developer hours, schedule, customer training, risk, and in-house development skills.

  4. Create a prioritization matrix, place initiatives, decide which to include in the roadmap, and order them by priority. The matrix will show which initiatives fall into each quadrant.

  5. Recognize and prioritize accordingly by

    1. High business value, low implementation complexity (upper-left).

    2. High business value, high implementation complexity (upper-right)

    3. Low business value, low implementation complexity (lower-left)

    4. Low business value, high implementation complexity (lower-right)

Weighted Scoring

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🎈Where to use?

A method is needed to prioritize features efficiently without considering risk or business goals. It may be challenging to compare different features.

🤓How to?

  1. Define criteria: Identify the goals you want to achieve and choose relevant standards such as Conversion Rate, Revenue Per Session, and Monthly Active Users (MAU).

  2. Assign weights: Allocate a weight to each criterion using a 1-100% scoring system based on their priority.

  3. Score options: Evaluate your options using a 0-5 scoring system and multiply it by the assigned weight.

  4. Calculate total value: Add the weighted scores for each option to determine its real value.

  5. Prioritize initiatives based on their total value, with the lowest score, moved to the backlog.

Weighted Shortest Job First

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🎈Where to use?

Prioritizing Customer and Non-Customer Facing Items. Use this method to avoid cognitive bias in prioritization and ensure a balanced approach based on business needs and scale. However, be prepared for a high level of mathematical calculation and a significant time investment to fine-tune the formula.

🤓How to?

  1. Identify the work items that need to be prioritized.

  2. Assign a value to each work item based on its expected outcome and impact on the organization.

  3. Evaluate the risk associated with each work item, including uncertainty, dependencies, and potential roadblocks.

  4. Determine the time criticality of each work item, considering factors such as the availability of resources, stakeholder needs, and regulatory requirements.

  5. Calculate the WSJF score for each work item by multiplying the value by the ratio of risk to time criticality.

  6. Prioritize the work items based on their WSJF score, prioritizing the highest-scoring items first.

  7. Continuously monitor and adjust the prioritization to ensure alignment with changing business needs and conditions.

Comparison Chart


When to use

Buy A Feature

The model helps prioritize features when stakeholders are 'designed by committee.' However, it needs to scale better for large teams and multiple products/features.

Constraints Framework

The framework can prioritize features based on conditions such as time/level of effort, capacity, and budget P/L data, but it may overlook business impact and alignment for features.

Cost Of Delay

Use it for ranking ideas according to impact and risk. Use it when weighing multiple factors and a long list of possible problems to solve. It can be more complex, and the model requires alignment on the value of features, understanding of risk, and how a delay could impact the border picture.

ICE Scoring Model / Scorecard

A fast and straightforward way to prioritize tasks and provide quantification to the approach, though it can be subjective as results can vary depending on who and when it is asked.

Jobs-to-be-done framework

The jobs-to-be-done framework is used to prioritize features based on the jobs customers need to get done.

Kano Model

Understand how customers perceive value and identify potential features you can add. The model does not consider effort, risk, or business goals.

KJ Method

A framework is used to reach consensus quickly when qualitative and quantitative data is available, enabling stakeholders to set top priorities; however, it can be challenging to drive value out of the framework if too many teams are involved without an apparent resource constraint.


A prioritization method that helps teams set criteria by grouping requirements into distinct buckets.

Opportunity Framework

A chart for visualizing and prioritizing ideas and solutions. Helpful in identifying innovative solutions, but the importance and value of features can be overestimated or underestimated.

Priority Poker

Ordering features in one dimension is challenging, so teams should eliminate bias. First, prioritize features based on usefulness, then cost. However, simplicity can result in overlooking business objectives and the overall product vision.

RICE Method

The RICE Method is a framework to prioritize features by considering multiple stakeholders' impact, confidence, effort, and satisfaction. However, it is time-consuming and requires a high level of discipline. The necessary data to complete the method is not always available.

Story Mapping

A technique to get a clear view of the critical steps needed by users to complete a specific task while creating a holistic understanding of the user journey. Requires a deep understanding of the acceptance criteria.

The Product Tree

Collaborate with customers to get a sense of where they want to invest in the product. Use it to prioritize features with customers in an organized way. It can be overly simplistic and used to gain a general sense of direction rather than a quantitative prioritization.

Value Vs. Effort

A framework to quickly quantify or qualify features and align stakeholders by reaching a consensus on which features should be prioritized. However, it may be prone to systematic error and difficult to scale with many stakeholders.

Weighted Scoring

A helpful way to determine the priority order for sets of features quickly. However, it does not consider the risk or business goals, and it may be challenging to compare unrelated features.

Weighted Shortest Job First

WSJF is a framework that can be used to ask the right questions around prioritization for customer and non-customer-facing items to reduce cognitive bias. However, it requires a lot of math and can be very time-consuming, with a high level of effort needed to tune the formula.