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Value vs Cost and Value vs Complexity
Value vs Cost and Value vs Complexity

Two of the most simple and common chart-methods of determining priorities

Alexander Sergeev avatar
Written by Alexander Sergeev
Updated over a week ago

Product managers need special methods and techniques for determining priorities and getting great business results. There are dozens of popular methodologies from gaming to the most complicated, quantitative and qualitative, for internal and external purposes.

Here’s some of the popular methods - Value vs Cost and Value vs Complexity metodologies

Value vs cost technique

This is a very common method of determining priorities. It is popular because of its simplicity.

Features are scored on their Value and Cost of implementation. Those with better coefficients will have a higher priority.

The main goal of the method is that at a certain release period we work on the most valuable tasks that can be accommodated in this period.

To visualize this method, use the Value vs the Cost charts. Spread out all the features that are considered in the perspective of their value in each dimension. Priority ranking will be displayed as the slopes of the lines going from the origin to each feature. The higher the slope, the higher the priority.

Value vs complexity

The Value vs complexity model lets you evaluate every opportunity based on its business value and relative complexity to implement. This approach is rather common - many product managers daily go through this assessment instinctively.

The business value can include anything from revenue generation, more visibility, traffic, more savings etc. The complexity of similarity can range from time, cost, risks, efforts, technical challenges and so on.

The principle of this methodology is simple: your initiatives with the highest value and the lowest efforts will be the low-hanging stuff for your roadmap. It can be presented like this:

  • Plot your features in a grid. Place them in one of the four quadrants, discuss and analyze each quadrant separately. 

  • The features, which have low complexity and high business value, are of utmost importance.

  • The top left issues are potentially to be reconsidered. They are of the least value. 

  • The issues in the bottom left are quite straightforward but not of the high importance for your business. 

  • The issues in top right define the path for businesses and help to achieve strategic goals.

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