Prioritization in Product Management

Product prioritization is one of the toughest parts of product management. At any given time, Product Managers deal with multiple conflicting requests from teams across the company. Which features and experiences should be built next? Which should be cut? Should you listen to higher-ups, directly to customers, or to prospects? Everyone has needs, and as the one making decisions, it’s hard to please everybody.

Prioritization must be a disciplined process of evaluating the relative importance of work, ideas, and requests to eliminate wasteful practices and deliver customer value in the quickest possible way, given a variety of constraints. Get it wrong, and you risk building something that nobody wants.

The reality of building products is that you can never get everything done — priorities shift, resources are reallocated, funding is scarce. As product managers, it’s our job to make sure we’re working on the most important things first. We need to ruthlessly prioritize features before we run out of resources.

“Opportunity cost is when you never get the chance to do something important because you chose to work on something else instead.”
Product Roadmaps Relaunched by C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, Michael Connors