Prioritising Opportunities

Prioritising opportunities refers to the systematic process of ranking and deciding which potential product features, enhancements, or initiatives should be pursued first based on their potential value, feasibility, and alignment with strategic goals.


Prioritising opportunities helps teams make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts and resources so that they can ensure effective resource allocation, strategic alignment, and speed to market.

  • Strategic Alignment: Ensures product development is aligned with business goals and user needs.
  • Resource Efficiency: Maximises the impact of development efforts by focusing on high-value opportunities.
  • Flexibility and Responsiveness: Enables quick adaptation to changing market conditions or user feedback.

ZeroBlockers Practices

Compare and ContrastDirectly compares opportunities against each other to evaluate their relative value and impact.
  • Simplifies decision-making by focusing on direct comparisons.
  • Helps clarify trade-offs between different opportunities.
Ad hoc, as new opportunities need to be pulled into the evaluation stage.


At this point in time you have very limit information about the opportunities that you are prioritising. There is a desire to create more structure around the process because it gives the impression of rigour and fairness. However the reality is that with any ranking system you are making a lot of assumptions and losing the context of each opportunities. That is why we recommend Compare and Contrast. It sparks conversation in the team that can give more context and helps teams compare the relative merits of different opportunities.

Teams can use some of the criteria that they would use in other methods such as RICE during their conversations, but the key is that they are comparing and contrasting the opportunities rather than trying to apply a scientific ranking.

Other Practices

PracticeDescriptionZeroBlockers Opinion
MoSCoW MethodCategorises opportunities into Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won't have.While it is great from a ranking perspective, the ratings are arbitrary and it does not give a lot of context to the team.
RICE ScoringEvaluates opportunities based on Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort.RICE provides a good framework for prioritising opportunities. The challenge is that a lot of companies apply weightings to each variable and try to turn it into a scientific style ranking. This leads to lost context. However RICE can be a great conversational tool when comparing and contrasting.
Kano ModelClassifies features based on their ability to satisfy users and differentiate the product.There are a lot of assumptions that go into the level of customer satisfaction of an opportunity. Again it can be a conversational point when comparing and contrasting but it should not be relied upon as a scientific ranking.
Cost of DelayQuantifies the financial impact of delaying an opportunity, focusing on lost revenue or increased costs.Revenue generation and cost to develop are both assumptions that we have a terrible track record in predicting. Reach and Impact provide more clarity on the potential value of an opportunity than a single Revenue variable.
Weighted ScoringAssigns scores to opportunities based on multiple criteria, weighted by importance, to calculate a total score.This tries to apply rigour to the process but at the point that you are prioritising opportunities you have very little information, so the reality is that you are making a lot of assumptions and losing the context of each opportunities.
Buy a FeatureStakeholders are given a budget and asked to allocate funds to their preferred opportunities, simulating investment decisions.Encourages HiPPO (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) decision making rather than relying on customer information.


  • Faux Scientific Analysis: Trying to apply a scientific ranking to opportunities when there is very little information available.
  • Spread Too Thin: Attempting to address too many opportunities at once, diluting focus and resources.
  • HiPPO Decisions: Allowing decisions to be driven by the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion rather than data and strategic criteria.
  • Analysis Paralysis: Overanalysing opportunities to the point where decision-making is delayed.
  • Chasing Shiny Objects: prioritising opportunities based on novelty or excitement rather than strategic value and impact.

Case Studies

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