How to prioritise ideas for maximum business value?

Create a prioritisation process that is easily understood by all, while leaving room for ambiguity and change. Once stakeholders agree with the prioritisation process, it will be easier to accept the ongoing prioritisation.

Create consistent criteria for measuring the impact and cost of experiments so that they can be easily compared with each other. Many teams use ICE or PIE frameworks that assess the impact, certainty of results and effort for each experiment and create a combined score. This combined score is then ranked to create the basis for the priority list.

Remember that prioritisation is an art and a science. It is important to find a balance between simple, low-risk experiments and those that are uncertain but have the potential to make a difference. Some of your experiments may need to be done in a certain order or at a certain time, so the calculated ICE score should not be the only consideration in your prioritisation.

By definition, your estimates of impact and certainty will be inaccurate, especially when you first start working in a particular field. However, this should not deter PMs from doing their best to create a relative impact scale for their prioritisation score.

Start discussions on prioritisation and alignment as early as possible, but do not commit to a priority too far in advance. As you learn from the tests and as the business evolves, you should strive to be agile and constantly reconsider your priorities.

Involve all stakeholders in the prioritisation, let them see the process, the trade-offs that are made and how changes to the plan are handled.
Have a living document with priorities, but do not expect stakeholders to refer to it constantly. Instead, plan a cadence for communicating upcoming priorities and any changes in a consistent and predictable way.

Find a way to make the opportunity cost of each experience tangible to your team and stakeholders. This can be as simple as talking about the number of hours of development or user traffic that will need to be spent on that experience. It’s good to have a medium-term forecast of the resources needed, while maintaining an ongoing prioritisation to adopt new changes.

Don’t forget technology debt and bugs. Even if you focus on high-speed testing, you need to maintain your systems and platform to continue testing in the long term.

Keep a backlog for ideas that are not on the priority list. This may not be the right time for the idea, but later on it could become your top priority.

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