Once you get the hang of it, prioritizing features can be a fairly painless process. If you’ve already received high level direction from your management team and are getting consistent feedback from your customers on what they would like to see in the product using a scoring method works very well.
But what happens when the management team doesn’t know what to build next. Marketing wants something completely different than sales. Management want to focus on cost savings yet Engineering wants to focus on tech debt. These decisions are elevated above selecting and prioritizing features. These decisions are usually focused at the goal setting and initiative level. And with numerous stakeholders, all important to how the company functions, it’s nearly impossible to get everyone on the same page. This is where a decision matrix exercise can come in very handy.
A decision matrix is a tool that helps turn subjective feedback into objective feedback and ensures each stakeholder has their say. It also encourages (if not requires) stakeholders to be honest if they want to get their way. The excellent thing about using a decision matrix is that all the discussion and ratings occur in the open so if one stakeholder wants to hide their motives then it’s unlikely their score will reflect the deception which decreases their ability to get what they want.
I created an Excel template built to make this process as painless as possible. It was built to accommodate:
- Paired comparison analysis of stakeholders
- Paired comparison analysis of factors
- Feedback from 10 stakeholders
- Ranking of 10 decision factors
- Ranking of 20 options
- Pivot Table and Sorted Ranking of all options
In the upcoming week I’ll be recording a webcast walking you through the use of the decision matrix and some tips and tricks facilitating the exercise.
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