Value vs Effort

The model based on the traditional 2x2 matrix for prioritization

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

The Value and Effort concept is the reflection of Lean Prioritization. Lean Prioritization approach is represented with a simple 2×2 product prioritization matrix. It helps in decision making and identifying what is important or risky and where to direct the efforts. 

This matrix is actively used for product development prioritization. Sometimes you can come across this concept associated with the classic Eisenhower matrix.

The matrix is used for prioritization as it can help product managers to sort out all the items and put things in order.

If the product backlog is not carefully maintained, it can quickly become a dump for dozens and hundreds of features and bugs. The disregard of prioritization occurs as it becomes harder to define inappropriate features, as they simply were overlooked.

You can easily draw a large “plus” sign on a whiteboard and mark “Value” and “Effort” along the vertical and horizontal axes or use a special tool that provides some product management platforms.

Hygger allows visualizing it with the help of a special backlog priority chart:

The main idea of Value and Effort prioritization

Comparing the Value and Effort combination helps to prioritize tasks better and choose the most important ones for development:

  • Value shows which business value the feature can bring to your product or your business

  • Effort measures the resources needed to complete the task

Backlog Priority Chart in Hygger consists of 4 segments with a specific priority block: 

  • Quick Wins - features that give a lot of value but which can be very quickly realized.

  • Big Bets - the features that can bring great value, but they are difficult to implement.

  • Maybes – tasks and features that do not bring much value, but are easily implemented. They can be fully realized later.

  • Time Sinks – the features do not need priority and we can skip them

It’s critical to revisit the 2x2 regularly. You’ll hopefully be continuously learning about your product and customers through A/B testing, analytics, customer insight, customer feedback and so on. Re-balance your matrix when necessary – items deemed to be low value two months ago may now be higher value relatively compared to other features on the backlog.

If you find the Value vs Effort prioritization model rather simple, feel free to dive into the more complex and profound methodologies, represented with Hygger’s frameworks:

Watch our short video tutorial to know about the way to manage your Product Backlog in Hygger.

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