How to Prioritize the Right Features

 

Once you have your feature ideas, it’s time to choose which ones are going to the product roadmap. To be able to do this you will need to prioritize them.

 

Prioritizing with ICE Score

When you’re developing a product, there is a great number of ways you can prioritize the features on the roadmap. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to cut subjectivity out of the equation.

All those people who contributed with their feature ideas (you, your team and the users) will feel very strongly about their own ideas. But prioritization process shouldn’t be in favor of the loudest or most persuasive person.

It should be as objective as possible so that you end up prioritizing the features that are the right choice for the product and the majority of users so you can deliver the features that will add the most value first.

As we said, you can try one of the many methods to prioritize the features, but in our roadmap, we use the ICE scoring system.

The ICE framework is the feature evaluation method that relies on three factors - impact, confidence and ease.

  • Impact: How impactful will this feature be? (on user experience as well as product goals)
  • Confidence: How certain is it that this will prove my hypothesis? (based on existing data)
  • Ease: How much effort by time is necessary to deliver this feature?

Each of these three criteria should get a 1-10 grade and the average is considered the ICE score.

So, for example, if we have a feature called ‘Onboarding Tour’ we can grade it this way:

Impact: 8

Confidence: 6

Ease: 7

ICE Score: 7

It’s important to note that all stakeholders should be taken into account for the scoring process - including all the decision-making team members as well as users/customers. Even so, the ICE method is not perfect, as it can result in a lot of biased information.

However, ICE shouldn’t be taken too rigidly, it’s not supposed to be perfect - it’s supposed to help product owners evaluate ideas more easily and make data-driven decisions, instead of getting overwhelmed by everyone’s subjective opinions.

 

How to Define Features in Infinity

Once you’ve prioritized your ideas, those with the highest scores should be moved to the next column -  ‘To Define’ - where you will add other important details that will be necessary for creating this feature.

So here's how you will turn an idea into a feature:

  • Step 1: Open the Roadmap folder.
  • Step 2: Delete the example items in the roadmap - you can also leave a few to use as a template. 
  • Step 3: Move an idea to 'To Define' column by drag and drop.
  • Step 4: Click the idea to open it.
  • Step 5: Give a short description of the feature in the Description field. You can keep using the one you wrote already. One part of it should also be the ICE score.
  • Step 6: Add user stories as a checklist. If you’re following the agile methodology, the best way to describe features is through user stories. One product feature can consist of one or several user stories so you can use a checklist for so you can easily turn user stories into tasks or update the list with new ones.
  • Step 7: Add an assignee who will be responsible for delivering this feature. 
  • Step 8: Add a priority label - High, Medium or Low.
  • Step 9: Add the start and end dates to set the time frame. Make sure you keep the dates flexible at roadmap level.
  • Step 10: Add a Feature Segment reference to link the feature with the segment from the Product Differentiation subfolder. 
  • Step 11: Add an Initiative reference to link the feature to the corresponding initiative(s). 
  • Step 12: Move the feature to the next column. Keep moving the feature to the next column each time it progresses to the next stage. 

Example of product roadmap in Infinity

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