Prioritization Techniques: A glimpse into OKRs, Kano Model and other techniques for product management

“So much to do, so little time.” This thought has undoubtedly crossed your mind at least once when you are sitting at your desk trying to keep up with a deadline. During the development and management phase, product managers often struggle to articulate, evaluate and prioritize opportunities. This blog will highlight some tried and tested product prioritization techniques that have will help you beat the product backlog and reach your goals.

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Objectives and key results (OKR)

All budding entrepreneur and product managers will be able to relate to Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” speech because, in a way, they all have a dream, a goal they want to achieve while developing a product. But the hard truth of life is that dreams rarely measure up to reality, and even if we have clear objectives, the results we achieve are often different. Objectives and key results (OKR) is a framework that is included in many product prioritization techniques that are meant to define and track product objectives and their outcomes.

Key elements of OKR’s

  • OKR’s include a clear goal, along with a key result that has to be measurable. The main aim is to help product managers and developers plan how to achieve their objectives using concrete and specific actions.
  • One significant benefit of using OKR’s in the context of product management is that everyone in the team knows what they are expected to do. If everyone has a clear idea about their specific tasks, it will be easier to moves towards the same goal.
  • The key results must be measurable, that is the only way the objectives and key results framework will be effective. When using OKR’s you can use a score of 0 – 100% or 0 to 10 to measure the key results.

Bottom Line: If you want to know if OKRs are effective, just listen to Google’s Larry Page. The former CEO of Alphabet and co-founder of Google, testified that OKRs have helped Google achieve 10x growth and was instrumental in keeping the company on time and on track.

The Kano Model

In the world of business, there is a phrase that is often repeated so much that it tends to get a little annoying; nevertheless, it is true; “the customer is always right.” The Kano Model builds upon this idea and sets up a five-step guide that is designed to help product managers develop a product or service that is centred on customer satisfaction. Developed by Japanese professor Dr Noriaki Kano, the Kano Model is a product development and customer satisfaction theory that classifies customer preferences into five categories for more efficient product prioritization.

Key Elements of Kano Model

  • Basic Features: When you are considering the basic features of your product, you need to make sure the features match the needs of the customer. Even though the basic features may not necessarily make the customer pick you over a competitor, it is important because if you don’t get it right, the customer may not pick your product at all.
  • Performance Features: The performance attributes, which are also known as ‘satisfiers’, are not absolutely necessary in the product but which, if added, increases the customer’s enjoyment. It is a general rule that when it comes to performance attributes, more is always better.
  • Excitement features: As the name suggests, the excitement features, or delighters, are meant to provide a disproportionate increase in customer satisfaction and generate excitement among users. Excitement attributes play a crucial role in your product’s competitive edge.

Bottom Line: The Kano Model is an innovative product prioritization technique that will put you in your customer’s shoes and allows you to relate to your customers’ needs. The key to carrying out the Kano Model Analysis successfully is to generate product ideas and features based on customers’ experiences and expectations.

Effort-Impact Matrix

It is curious to think that even though each day has exactly 24 hours, there are some days when you have all the time in the world, and you are more productive, and there are days when you work like crazy but have nothing to show for it. For effective product prioritization, you need to be able to manage your time more efficiently so that you don’t find yourself caught up with meaningless work. The Effort-Impact Matrix is a decision-making tool that allows you to prioritize your work and use your time, effort and resources fruitfully.

Key Elements of Effort-Impact Matrix

  • If you use the Effort-Impact Matrix for prioritization, you will find that it helps you identify and focus on activities that need your immediate attention as compared to those that can wait. This will help you rank your work and plan your day more efficiently.
  • This technique will also help you analyze the amount of effort required for each task, along with the benefits you stand to receive once the task is completed. Using the high-impact high-effort evaluation technique will motivate you to take up difficult tasks that require considerable effort because of the end business value.
  • This decision-making tool and prioritization technique will also help you optimize and assign your time and resources so that you do not waste any effort when achieving your goals.

Bottom Line: The Effort-Impact Matrix is a way to get your product back on track and aligns team priorities so that it becomes easier to achieve your set business goals.

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