pdmpill 15 – “Buy-a-Feature” – Prioritization framework for product managers

Have you ever worked on a project where customers or internal teams were looking to “have it all”? If the answer is affirmative then this prioritization framework is for you.

It used to work great before the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering people together in a meeting room, but it still works very well in a remote environment using collaborative tools such as Mural, Miro or even Google Docs.

This is a social prioritization technique that gets people into the dynamics of building for success. It helps them get the real value of the features on the list by making an analogy with their real lifes.

Here are the steps to properly apply this framework:

1. Put all the features you need to prioritise on a list.

2. Assign each feature a price. This price is usually dependant on the effort that’s needed to build the feature.

3. Gather your internal and external stakeholders, explain the features and their benefits, give them a fixed amount of cash. Make sure the amount they get is smaller than the total price of the features on the list, otherwise they won’t be selective!

4. Ask your stakeholders to buy the features they like.

5. Prioritize the list of features based on how much was spent on each feature.

If new ideas emerge during the collaborative session, include them on the list and assign them a price, but do not increase the budget of the stakeholders. The more ideas they have, the more selective they need to be.