Great products are built around solving problems. The challenge for any company is to understand it's users' needs and challenges and improve upon that.
Naturally, you'll tend to want to add the most requested features. But you need to decide if those features fit in with your strategic goals and what you want your product ultimately to be. Start with high-value low-effort features first.
Prioritizing user requests requires answering a mix of questions: How many people want it? How much value does it add to the product? How difficult is it to build?
To effectively prioritize feature requests and assign them a prioritization score you want to calculate an aggregation of scores based on factors. The prioritization score is used to quantify the strategic importance of a feature.
The RICE prioritization framework uses 4 factors for calculating the prioritization score: Reach, Impact, Effort, and Confidence.
The Reach factor refers to how many users the feature request will impact. For example, a request could be a custom enterprise feature that would impact 1 customer or a more generic feature that would impact 1000 users.
The Impact factor refers to how much the feature request will increase your conversion rate (or user retention) when a customer encounters it. Impact is estimated as a number between 0.25 (minimal) and 3 (massive).
3 - massive impact
2 - high
1 - medium
0.5 - low
0.25 - minimal
The Effort factor refers to the total amount of time a feature will require from all members of your team: product, design, and engineering. Effort is estimated as a number of weeks.
Example: 1 week of design (1 designer) and 1 week of engineering (2 developers) equals 3 weeks of effort.
The Confidence factor refers to your level of confidence about your estimates and asses risk. Confidence is estimated as a percentage between 50% (low) and 100% (high).
100% - high confidence
80% - medium
50% - low
Example: If you think a request could have a big impact but don’t have data to back it up, confidence lets you control that risk.
The prioritization score is used to quantify the strategic importance of a feature. The formula used to calculate the prioritization score is
Reach x Impact x Confidence / Effort
Long term, you should prioritize the important features you need to create for a compelling product rather than the easy features.
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