December 16, 2015

# Just Launched! — Better Feature Prioritization Using the Fibonacci Sequence

by Keith Brown

Managing the backlog and prioritizing features are among the most important jobs of a product manager. By prioritizing the right features, you can ensure that your team will focus on what matters most for achieving your overall vision and goals.

But keeping your team focused on what matters most is difficult. That’s why we created the Aha! Scorecard to help.

Scorecards allow you to create simple or advanced equations which map back to your strategic initiatives, allowing you to rank the importance of each feature.

And today’s launch will empower your team to more effectively manage your backlog and prioritize your features. We have done this by introducing additional scales and metrics for all scorecards — including the Fibonacci Sequence which many of you have requested.

Note that you need to be an Aha! admin to create and update Scorecards. Here’s how the new scoring options work:

Align prioritization with product strategy
Your scorecard contains key metrics which can help you align your work back to your overall product strategy and goals. You could already fully customize scorecards under Account Settings including: metrics, scale, weighting, and complexity used to add quantification to your features. And today we have added even more options.

Aha! now supports the Fibonacci Sequence. The name may sound complex, it is a powerful way to score ideas and features because value and effort is rarely ever linear. The Fibonacci Sequence is a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the previous two (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…).

By using this scale, your scorecards become even better at helping you prioritize what matters. As the score grows, the numbers become further and further apart. That means you have easier decisions when scoring features on your scale with scores of 13 vs. 21. It’s much easier than deciding between scores of 13 vs. 14, right?

Aha! also now supports scorecards using Powers of 2 (shown below). This sequence type is another exponential series of numbers where each number is two times greater than the previous (0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128…).

Using Powers of 2 provides a similar benefit as the Fibonacci Sequence. It helps teams to recognize the higher value and uncertainty that comes with more complex requirements, and reduces confusion when prioritizing features.

Have a prioritization system unique to your business? Aha! can also be customized with scales and equations beyond even these two scales. In addition to the Fibonacci Sequence and Powers of 2 methods, you can create your own custom scale for scoring features.

Note that if you change your existing Scorecards to use the new scoring methods, your existing features that have already been scored will keep their existing values until you adjust their scores.

Effectively manage the product backlog
Using your new custom scorecards, you can score ideas and features on the key criteria to empower you to rank the overall importance and relative effort for each feature.

As you score each of the features, you can use the Features board to effectively manage your backlog of potential features and prioritize them against one another. The Features board is the perfect place to drag, drop, and order these features based on priorities.

Each product can have a unique scorecard comprised of metrics that reflect your strategy, but make sense at a feature level.

Analyze scores across multiple features
Once scores are set, you can report on your priorities across a list of ideas or features. This is done by building a report using Aha! with detailed views into the breakdown of feature scores. In the list view below you can see each feature, its overall score, and each metric that makes up that score.

Feature prioritization is a key job for product managers. Efficient requirements management takes skill even in single product /single target market companies. But in more complex organizations, it takes real expertise.

Introducing the Fibonacci Sequence (and additional best practice scoring methodologies) allows product managers to more effectively score and prioritize features.

Ultimately, this allows you to better manage your backlog.

Signup for a free Aha! trial — be happy
Better backlog management and feature prioritization is available for all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Aha! now to see why over 30,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, prioritize features, and capture ideas.

Keith was a VP of Marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software.

Sign up for a free trial of Aha! and see why more than 300,000 users worldwide trust Aha! to build products customers love.

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