Determining Priority and Value with Business Stakeholders

As a Product person, have you ever had difficulty prioritizing work and deciding which items hold the highest value?

Try having a session with your respective business stakeholders prior to starting development to prioritize work based on business value. This means having stakeholders from groups such as marketing, operations, sales, etc. assign a point estimate to each item using a strategy similar to something such as planning poker on a scale from 1-10. These items would also have an initial team estimate relative to effort (also using planning poker) or cost prior to the business estimating.

In the book, Practices for Scaling Lean and Agile Development, by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, they call this Relative Value Points (RVP). After the session with business stakeholders is finished, they state:

Prioritization-When finished, all items have an RVP. They also have an effort or cost estimate that was provided by the teams. This somewhat guides prioritization: All other things being equal (they never are), the Product Owner increases the priority of items with high RVP and low effort estimate-more bang for the buck.

If you are interested in trying this activity for the first time, you may want to work with a Scrum Master if possible. This meeting should ideally give a product person a better understanding of what is most important to the business stakeholders and their expectations. It ideally leads to more collaboration rather than negotiation with the stakeholders.

Have you tried this activity with business stakeholders? What other activities have you tried for prioritization?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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