The Art of Prioritization: Techniques for Product Managers

Setting priorities is crucial in all areas of our lives. By setting priorities, we may focus on the most crucial activities at hand and attempt to add the most value to the accomplishment of that objective. Prioritization enables us to effectively manage our time and resources in the most optimized & efficient manner.

Similar issues arise for product managers in the fast-paced world of product management as they try to balance a variety of features, duties, and ideas with the resources they have available and the deadlines they have to meet to get their products to market. Therefore, prioritization is a critical ability for product managers since it aids in putting the tasks, improvements, repairs, and other deliverables in an ordered/organized fashion, allowing for the concentration of efforts and intelligent resource allocation to achieve the greatest value in the shortest amount of time. In this article, we will examine some of the most popular & successful prioritization approaches that aid product managers in concentrating on what is most important and how the product management certification teaches you the art of prioritization.

What is Prioritization in Product Management?

Any procedure that aids in determining the relative importance of an idea or piece of work efficiently, quickly, and given a particular set of factors delivering customer value is referred to as product management prioritization.

Why is Prioritization Challenging for Product Managers?

There are many factors involved in product prioritization, in addition to just stacking a number of features in a particular order. Before addressing the product plan, it might be very difficult to condense the list of feature requests and needs.

Moreover, a key element of product management’s allure is understanding who to involve, when, and to what extent.

Need of Prioritization Methods

In an ideal scenario, product managers and engineering teams would have unlimited funding to implement any feature or initiative that caught their attention. Reality, however, dictates that our world has a limited amount of time, money, and human resources. Our product management and engineering teams require a plan, a mechanism for selecting the first projects, features, or products to work on.

The prioritization aids the manager in evaluating, contrasting, and ranking these qualities according to a number of criteria, finally deciding which ones will offer the most value.

5 Most Important Prioritization Techniques

There are various frameworks for prioritizing product management tasks. Let’s look at the top five.

  • MoSCoW Technique- Four categories—Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won’t have—are used in this technique to categorize aspects. Clarifying the significance and urgency of each characteristic is made easier by each category. This technique promotes stakeholder consensus since it is easy, quick, and straightforward. When you have to agree on deliverables within a certain time range, the MoSCoW technique comes in handy.
  • Rice Scoring- Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort are abbreviated as RICE. Based on these four criteria, each feature is graded, and the one with the greatest score is given priority. It is data-driven, which makes it a trustworthy and impartial prioritization technique. RICE scoring works best when you have quantitative data at your disposal to inform your choices.
  • Value vs Complexity model- The value and complexity features are plotted into quadrants according to their complexity (time, money, and resources needed) and value (benefit to the user or business). Making decisions is made easier because it provides a visual picture of the cost-benefit analysis. When weighing a feature’s worth versus its implementation’s complexity, this approach can be useful.
  • Kano Model- In this model, features are divided into three categories: Basic, Performance, and Delighters, depending on how they affect consumer pleasure. It aids in discovering characteristics that can raise client satisfaction and set your product apart from competitors. When attempting to comprehend how various features may affect consumer happiness, the Kano model is the best choice.
  • ICE scoring- Impact, Confidence, and Ease are abbreviated as ICE. Similar to RICE but lacking the “Reach” component, it provides a numerical rating system for features based on these considerations. The model is well-balanced and considers both qualitative and quantitative elements. A flexible methodology, ICE scoring can be used in a wide range of product management situations.

Factors That Influence Product Prioritization Decisions

  • Customer preferences and needs- Customers are the foundation of any successful product. Any product or feature should be designed with the goal of meeting consumer needs and adding value. Understanding client wants, preferences, and feedback is, therefore, a crucial component of prioritization.
  • Competition and market trends- You must monitor your surroundings if you want to stay one step ahead of the game. Your decision-making about priorities can benefit from having a solid understanding of the competitive landscape and market trends. To succeed, you must strike a balance between market trends and your understanding of your customer’s demands, and your distinctive value proposition.
  • Business objectives and goals- Every product development project should support your overarching corporate aims and objectives. Your product choices should serve these goals, whether they are to boost sales, enter new markets, promote customer loyalty, or pursue completely different goals. Maintaining a strategic view of the product as a product manager is essential, taking into account both the product vision and the company’s business plan.
  • Technical feasibility- Prioritisation heavily depends on how technically viable a feature is to develop. Some features might call for major architectural adjustments, cutting-edge technology, or expertise that your team lacks right now. To make sure that the technical ramifications of each possible feature are taken into account, it is essential to involve your technical staff in the prioritization process.


The ability to make decisions in product management can be greatly improved by mastering these methods for product prioritization. Always keep in mind that there is no one strategy that works in every circumstance. It all comes down to selecting the option that best supports your team’s, product’s, and strategic goals. Making informed, data-driven decisions that maximize the value to your consumers and your business is ultimately what successful product management prioritization is all about.

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