TL;DR: All high functioning teams must prioritize. Not once a month, not once a week — but rigorously, and ruthlessly. There is always a way to accomplish your goal faster than you currently plan to.
The craft of making prioritization decisions is one of the most difficult skills to impart on teams because of how complex those decisions can become, and while it’s usually a core responsibility of product managers, I’ve found that the best teams are the ones where everyone is maniacally prioritizing towards the same goal, and doing so in a way that’s consistent with each other.
Prioritization in product management can be broken down into two scopes:
Answering this question may require rigour, but the process isn’t complicated:
The only way to combat the speed and chaos of building products is to develop a ruthless mindset, one that is constantly aware of the work a team is doing and challenges them on the necessity of that work.
A good strategy is to help teams internalize product development concepts that aid them in ruthlessly answering “is this absolutely necessary?”. Here are the one’s we’ll cover in the remainder of this post:
One of the highest leverage things you can do is to create a system that determines when to fix bugs or when to move on.
If you think about your product, there are three situations you can be in with respect to your product assumptions:
We should be able to place a value on shipping something faster to customers. Shipping 80% faster could get 20% of customers upset, but in the end they will be served as fast as if you shipped only when 100% was covered. Ship at 80% if you can.