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10 Feature Prioritization Methods
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Prioritization Tool Kit

Method 5: Purpose Alignment Model

Prioritize your features based on your company mission and your market needs
Modified from , by - Agile Coach at Agile by Design. And inspired as an alternative to the
Change: mission-critical? and market differentiator?
See results auto-ordered in: Purpose Alignment Model Results
Is it mission-critical?
Can the business run without it?
Is it market differentiating?
Does it bring customers, provide a competitive advantage, or something similar?
Set Feature Categories
16
Search
Request Name
mission-critical?
market differentiator?
1
F1: New billing page
2
F2: Import functionality
3
F3: Video calls
4
F4: Security upgrade
5
F5: Item comments
6
BNS-684: Notification panel redesign
7
F7: Localization of mobile app
8
F8: Multi-location Management
There are no rows in this table

Purpose Alignment Model Results
16
Search
market differentiator?
mission-critical?
2
6
Request Name
Request Name
3
F4: Security upgrade
BNS-684: Notification panel redesign
F7: Localization of mobile app
5
F5: Item comments
F1: New billing page
F2: Import functionality
F3: Video calls
F8: Multi-location Management

About Purpose Alignment Model
The Purpose Alignment Model is an alternative to the MoSCoW method of feature categorization and provides a solution to the common problem that occurs of that method, which is when most of your potential features end up in the "Must have" category.
One of the ways this model helps us out of the problem of all features being "Must have" is that it has two options for "Must":
Features that are must-have for market differentiating
Features that are must-have but just need to be done
Thus, let us look at features we must-have in terms of ones that can get away with being just good enough and those where we really need to excel.
Answer the two key questions of the Purpose Alignment Model, and you can keep it blank if the question doesn’t apply on the feature
Categories
Differentiating: Mission critical, market differentiating
Your Differentiating Features
BNS-684: Notification panel redesign
F7: Localization of mobile app
About Differentiating
Both mission critical and differentiating. This is the area where organizations should focus most of their investment. For such items, good just isn't enough, excellence is required. When people think of your company, these are the things they think about.
Parity: Mission critical, non-market differentiating
Your Parity Features
F1: New billing page
F2: Import functionality
F3: Video calls
F8: Multi-location Management
About Parity
Mission critical, but not market differentiating. These are things that have to be done, but they can just be good enough. Making them significantly better than the competition is an over-investment.
Features in this category have a lower saturation point where additional investment in more features or better performance won't produce additional returns. Over-investment here could mean allocating resources that could be spent more effectively on Differentiating features.
Consider implementing off-the-shelf solution or the simplest thing that could work and avoid building your own custom solution. Examples: customer support or credit-card processing for online stores.
Partner: Non-mission critical, market differentiating
Your Partner Features
F4: Security upgrade
About Partner
Market differentiating opportunities that aren't mission critical, but can differentiate and differentiate your company.
As the capabilities to develop these features might not be a core competency of your organization, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, the recommendation in the Purpose Alignment Model is to find an organization where these activities are differentiating and partner with them.
Who Cares: Non-mission critical, non-market differentiating
Your “Who Cares” Features
F5: Item comments
About Who Cares
Ideas that aren't mission critical or market differentiating. These features should probably not be done.

Extra - The MoSCoW Method
The MoSCoW method allows you to figure out what matters the most to your stakeholders and customers by classifying features into four priority buckets. MoSCoW (no relation to the city—the Os were added to make the acronym more memorable) stands for Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, and Won’t-Have features.
Must-Have: These are the features that have to be present for the product to be functional at all. They’re non-negotiable and essential. If one of these requirements or features isn’t present, the product cannot be launched, thus making it the most time-sensitive of all the buckets.
Example: “Users MUST log in to access their account”
Should-Have: These requirements are important to deliver, but they’re not time sensitive.
Example: “Users SHOULD have an option to reset their password”
Could-Have: This is a feature that’s neither essential nor important to deliver within a timeframe. They’re bonuses that would greatly improve customer satisfaction, but don’t have a great impact if they’re left out.
Example: “Users COULD save their work directly to the cloud from our app”
Won’t-Have: These are the least critical features, tasks or requirements (and the first to go when there are resource constraints). These are features that will be considered for future releases.
The MoSCoW model is dynamic and allows room for evolving priorities. So a feature that was considered a “Won’t-Have” can one day become a must-have depending on the type of product.
Purpose Alignment Model Links

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