Value vs Complexity: A Prioritization Tool

Every app goes through the journey of Idea Inception, Strategy/Research, Requirements & Implementation phases. Somewhere while defining app Strategy & Requirements, “Feature List” comes into picture to set the direction.

Once we have the features decided we prioritise them!

Why prioritise?

So that we know which features are to be rolled out first. And how do we decide that? Based on the value they are giving to the customers. But what about the effort, time and cost?

The Value vs Complexity matrix helps us decide just that! Using this we can evaluate every feature of the app based on its business value and complexity to implement. It considers research and business strategy, along with initial technology estimates.

Business value could be anything ranging from revenue generation, more traffic, more visibility, more savings etc. Similarity complexity can range from time, cost, effort, risk, technical challenge etc.


Untitled presentation

To begin this simple exercise, plot the features in a grid as shown above. Once you have done that, you will have them placed in one of the four quadrants and debate about each quadrant separately. Why debate? Because it is beneficial to have different perspectives on board and discuss why a certain feature placed in that quadrant. Once done, you can analyse them!

The features which have low complexity and high business value are of utmost importance to gauge high customer traction in early days of the app. As “No-Brainers”, these things are clear priorities to be done right away.

Things in the top left are potentially to be reconsidered, as these are of the least value.

Things in the bottom left are quite straightforward to deliver but not the most important for Business. We can always consider ways to make them more valuable. There could be an alternative approach or if they are enhanced slightly, it could happen that they might be considered much more important than before. And if still these don’t make sense, you can always come revisit them for future phases.

The things in top right are the ones which define the path for businesses and help achieve their strategic goal. Since these are complex in nature, it is always recommended to break them down into small targets each of simple complexity so that they are delivered well in time.

This simple tool will give you a clear picture of how many things are really important and required to achieve your goals and which ones are sitting there, adding negligible value and taking considerable amount of effort.


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