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“Prune the product tree” method
“Prune the product tree” method

Methodology based on the shaping the product’s direction towards market needs

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 one of the popular methods - “Prune the product tree”.

“Prune the product tree” methodology

This gaming method is about shaping the product’s direction towards market needs and understanding if some product areas are being left behind. The author of this approach is Luke Hohmann. 

According to the game, your product is a tree that will be pruned to our liking. 

  • Draw a tree on a whiteboard. Thick limbs of the tree represent core product areas. Its outermost branches are currently available features.

  • Write potential new features on stickers.

  • Ask customers and stakeholders to place the stickers with their desired features on the tree. You will extract some valuable data: Is the tree growing in a balanced way? Are specific areas growing disproportionately larger? And so on.

From this visual balance, you will derive relative value among features, understand which changes might need to be done and which product areas need to be dropped in future.

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