4 Best Practices for Rolling Out Your Framework

Feature prioritization is a team sport, as well as understanding framework best practices. Because whichever prioritization framework gets picked needs a carefully planned rollout to stakeholders, here are some framework best practices for a successful implementation.

1. Seek team-wide buy-in.

After selecting a prioritization framework, its case must be made with those users. Product leaders ensure their team understands the framework’s formulas and processes. Furthermore, they communicate how it will facilitate better strategic product decisions.

A mock prioritization session also increases comfort and familiarity. Use a hypothetical product with a list of competing feature ideas. You can then ask the team to score or rank them based on the chosen framework’s approach. It’s a fun way to learn how things work without the pressure of making real decisions.

The more buy-in the prioritization framework has ahead of time, the more effective subsequent prioritization sessions will be going forward. With some experience, participants are more likely to bring their varied perspectives and insights to the conversation.

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2. Limit the number of items prioritized at a time.

Prioritization frameworks narrow down and rank the list of competing ideas for a product. However, one of them dictates how many winners to place on the product roadmap.

One risk of rolling out a new prioritization framework is that too many items in the backlog score at a “priority” level. This leaves the team with the same problem as before—deciding what to prioritize and what to shelve for later.

Set an internal limit on the number of items that you work on in a given timeframe, making this known before prioritization begins. No matter how many backlog items rank as “very important” or “very valuable,” the prioritization process remains incomplete until your team reaches a manageable workload.

3. Share the framework with all stakeholders.

The right prioritization framework helps the product team give stakeholders clear guidelines. For example, they can show how some initiatives make it on the product roadmap and why some don’t.

Having a defined, socialized process and criteria empowers product managers to say “no” to an executive eager to prioritize a specific new feature. They can now articulate why something does or does not get prioritized for the product roadmap or is destined for the backlog without making it about personal preferences, hunches, or gut feelings.

Going one step further, sharing prioritization frameworks with everyone in the company—or at least those intimately involved with the products—lets them know there’s a new methodology for deciding what to build into your product. They’ll know all new requests and suggestions must go through that same gauntlet, giving them confidence in the results and transparency in the process.

4. Standardize prioritization processes.

Even when colleagues might be onboard with the concept of a prioritization framework, they won’t always follow the same process you’ve laid out.

For example, after introducing the AARRR method some might focus only on two of the metrics in that framework—say, customer acquisition and activation. When rating feature ideas, they might ignore or downplay a feature’s impact on customer retention, referrals, and revenue.

For a prioritization framework to maximize its positive effect on the company’s strategic decisions, everyone should review initiatives using the same criteria. Without it, subjectivity creeps in, and stakeholders may lose faith that the process yields accurate impartial outputs. Finally, your teams to implement framework best practices to ensure framework best practices further.

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