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Don't Just Prioritize, Strategize

Do you ever feel like this? There is never enough time. There are never enough resources.

Product managers and product owners get feature requests from everywhere… reproducing like fleas. Once their backlog is perfectly groomed, someone from the front office demands to put their initiative at the front of the line. And why not? "It's a huge deal that we could close if we only had this one capability; it's enough to guarantee club."

It's the same for product marketing. "I need a brochure." "I need a custom demo." "I need a new presentation for my special client."

"Why can't you product people keep up?"

And so, we prioritize and re-prioritize and re-re-prioritize. And that simply doesn’t work.

You can't roadmap it better. Or prioritize it better. Or schedule it better. There's not some trick that allows your teams to do more than the teams can do.

It's not you. There will always—ALWAYS!—be more requests than you can address.

Tips and tricks are not the answer. Strategy is the answer.

Look to your product objectives. Eliminate everything that doesn’t move the product closer to the objective. Begin with who and what. Who are your ideal clients? What problems do they have?

Filter first. Filter out everything that isn’t about those clients and problems.

Prioritize second. Focus on those capabilities that align with the product strategy, and determine which has the highest business value. The items that serve all customers or all salespeople.

What did we learn from Star Trek? "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one."

Don't prioritize until you have clarity about where you're going and why. Once your strategy is clear, and your resources are aligned around the vital few things you need to do, you should stop interrupting the team every 15 minutes to re-route and re-plan and re-prioritize.

Don't just prioritize. Strategize!

When you are armed with market knowledge, your strategy and priorities are focused on problems to solve that are vital to the buyer, valuable to the user, and viable for your business.


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