Aligning on which projects to prioritize starts with organizing them all in one place. Then, pick your preferred prioritization method—and build it right into your roadmap, to make decisions faster.
You’re reading stage 3 of Airtable’s guide for product operations
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In this step, we’ll explore this team-level template. Dive deeper into the product operations workflow here.
How product teams prioritize projects may vary. Oftentimes organizations also call this unit of work “features” or “epics.” Before creating your roadmap, you should take time to define what a project is for your team, and what details are critical to capture.
Your “Projects” table is where you can prioritize planned features, as well as visualize calendars of key dates. Here’s what a projects table might look like in Airtable:
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Your next step is to prioritize future work by “scoring” it. Every product operations team has a different prioritization framework, but here are a few we commonly see.
The MoSCoW Method. To understand what features need to be included or excluded, categorize each into four groups: M (Must have), S (Should have), C (Could have), and W (Won't have). Rank them in order of preference within each group, and prioritize features to deliver the most immediate business value early.
Kano Model. Identify the most important features based on the customer’s needs. Organize user preferences across five groups of needs: Basic, performance/satisfiers, excitement/delighters, indifferent attributes, and reverse attributes.
RICE. Score product ideas based on four factors: Reach, impact, confidence, and effort. Once everything is scored, calculate the RIC / E for your score, and prioritize features with the highest RICE score.
Value vs. Effort. Create a matrix to quantify the value and complexity of each feature, update, fix, or other product initiative. Quickly prioritize features where you get more value with fewer efforts.
Opportunity Scoring. To improve existing solutions, identify features customers consider essential yet are dissatisfied with. Survey customers to rank each feature and calculate “Importance + (Importance - Satisfaction)” to rank features with the biggest opportunity.
Story Mapping. Highlight gaps in the user experience to understand features to focus on. Arrange user stories beneath significant steps a user will take, giving you a holistic view of how this fits into the overall user experience and where there are gaps.
Cost of Delay. Understand the economic value of completing a product sooner or delaying it. This can help understand the monetary value of each initiative to better prioritize resources and communicate to stakeholders.
Regardless of your preferred product prioritization method, Airtable makes it easy to incorporate it into your base so it’s reflected in your process.
In this example, we created a formula to calculate a “Priority Score,” which uses other prioritization inputs in the same table—here, “Complexity Points” and “Engineering Effort.”
This formula field is used to calculate a priority score for each project.
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Once you’ve standardized your data, you can link your roadmap items to other key information in Airtable.
Linking records will help anyone in the org make associations between different types of information—and unlock insights across them. Using linked records allows you to create count, lookup, and rollup fields to automatically summarize linked data.
Create a linked record
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Link projects to the key results they’ll drive, then see a rollup of all related projects in your OKRs table. Try a count field to track number of projects, a lookup field to see project owners, and a rollup field to calculate the percentage of completed projects.
Linking each project to related customer feedback gives you a quick way to reference customer insights for a given project, and vice versa.
Linking projects to tasks is a no-brainer. You can roll up task completion rates, due dates, and owners, as well as make sure (via a lookup field) that every task owner has critical details like project launch date front and center.
Creating these connections strengthens the foundation of your roadmap, and makes it easier to maintain. Next up: bringing your roadmap to life for the stakeholders who depend on it.
Once linked, use a Rollup to summarize objectives for each key result.