Deciding which features to include in your MVP Development can be a challenging task, as resources are often limited, and there are many competing priorities to consider.
In this blog, we’ll explore five cool methods for prioritizing features for MVP development, including the MoSCoW, Kano Model, Value vs. Complexity Matrix, RICE Scoring Model, and Story Mapping.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Let’s start with the easiest ones. We’ve saved the best for the last.
The MoSCoW technique was first introduced in the mid-1990s, and it has since become a popular prioritization technique used in various fields, including project management, product development, and software engineering.
Using MoSCoW, product owners prioritize features by categorizing them into four groups based on their importance:
Let’s see how an EdTech product will use the MoSCoW feature prioritization technique:
The MoSCoW technique is known for its speed and efficiency in orienting the design team toward prioritizing features. In as little as 30 minutes or during a single workshop, your team can use this method to identify and prioritize the most important features of the product.
While MoSCoW is a useful tool for prioritizing design features, it has some limitations. For example, it does not consider non-design factors such as effort, cost, and time. Additionally, it may not involve technical representatives who can provide important insights into the feasibility and complexity of implementing certain features.
Kano Model is another popular technique for prioritizing features in a product or service. It was developed by Japanese researcher Noriaki Kano in the 1980s to help companies better understand and meet customer needs and preferences.
The Kano Model categorizes features into three main types: must-haves, performance attributes, and delighters.
Must-haves are basic requirements that customers expect from the product or service, such as quality, reliability, or functionality. Performance attributes directly impact the product’s performance or usability, such as speed, accuracy, or user interface design. Finally, delighters are unexpected or innovative features that can exceed customer expectations and provide a unique competitive advantage.
The Kano Model uses customer surveys or other feedback mechanisms to identify which features fall into each category. Once the features are classified, they can be prioritized based on their impact on customer satisfaction and their feasibility for implementation.
Let’s say you’re building a new social media platform, and you’ve identified several features you’d like to include in your MVP, such as:
To use the Kano Model to prioritize these features, you would first conduct a survey or series of interviews with potential users to understand how they would react to each feature.
Here’s an example of how the survey questions and responses might look:
The response options can be something like this:
After collecting the survey responses, you can use the Kano Model to prioritize the features based on how they are perceived by users. Here’s an example of how the prioritization might look:
The Value vs. Complexity Matrix is a simple but effective way to prioritize features based on their potential value to users and the complexity involved in developing them. It helps product teams focus on building features with the greatest impact while minimizing the effort required to build them.
The matrix is typically divided into four quadrants, each representing a different combination of high or low value and high or low complexity. The quadrants are:
Here’s an example of how a SaaS product can use the Value vs. Complexity Matrix to prioritize features:
Let’s say you are building project management software for small businesses. You’ve identified several potential features to include in your MVP, including:
To use the Value vs. Complexity Matrix, you would assess each feature based on its potential value to users and the complexity involved in developing it. Here’s an example of how the matrix might look:
|Time tracking and invoicing||High||Low||Quick Wins|
|Task management with labels and tags||High||High||Must-Haves|
|Gantt chart view||Medium||High||Question Mark|
|Integration with third-party tools||Low||Low||Quick Wins|
|Customizable project templates||Low||High||Time Consumers|
The RICE Scoring Model is a framework for prioritizing features that consider the potential Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort required to develop each feature. Here’s a brief overview of each component of the RICE framework:
To use the RICE framework to prioritize features, each feature is assigned a score for each component, with higher scores indicating greater potential value.
The scores are then multiplied together to create a final RICE score, which is used to rank the features.
Here’s an example of how the RICE framework might be used to prioritize features for a SaaS product:
|Integration with third-party tools||5||7||6||4||840|
|Task management with labels and tags||8||6||7||8||2688|
|Customizable project templates||3||4||5||6||360|
|Time tracking and invoicing||3||4||5||6||360|
|Gantt chart view||4||5||4||9||720|
Story Mapping is a technique for visualizing the user journey through a product by breaking it down into individual stories or user scenarios. It can be a useful tool for prioritizing features by helping product teams understand how different features fit into the overall user experience and identifying areas of the product that may be over- or underdeveloped.
To create a Story Map, the product team starts by identifying the high-level user goals or “epics” for the product. These might include things like “signing up for the service,” “completing a task,” or “analyzing data.”
The team then breaks each epic down into smaller stories or user scenarios, which represent the specific steps or interactions required to achieve the epic.
Once the team has identified all of the stories, they can prioritize them by considering user needs, business value, technical feasibility, and dependencies between stories. They may also use techniques such as dot voting or affinity mapping to gather stakeholder input and ensure that the prioritization reflects a consensus across the team.
Here’s an example of how a Story Map for a vacation planning platform MVP might look:
In this example, the team has identified four high-level epics for the learning platform: “search for the destination,” “search for flights/hotels/car rental,” “booking,” and “review and feedback.”
Each epic has been broken down into smaller stories or user scenarios, represented by sticky notes on the Story Map. The team has also indicated the priority of each story, with the walking skeleton indicating high priority, MVP line indicating medium priority, and Release 2 indicating low priority.
Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses and choosing the right one for your product will depend on factors such as your team’s expertise, your product goals, and your target users.
If you’re confused about the technical considerations related to your MVP features and looking for an MVP development partner to help you out, feel free to reach Innovify. Our project managers breathe Agile and can help you scale your product from MVP.