The collaborative prioritisation table is a tool used in the Lean Strategy Cycle to help stakeholders prioritise a list of initiatives. The participants fill up each initiative’s business value score (B), User eXperience score (U) and the relative effort score (E). Then the group calculates each initiative score by applying the formula B + U / E.

Relative versus absolute marks

This table is to be used for relative comparison. For example, comparing initiative A with initiative B; which one requires more effort? Could we say initiative A is a 1 and B is a 3?

 

The question above is very different then: what is the effort for initiative A?

 

Every score calculation on the prioritisation table — business value, user expired and effort — should be relative to each other. So, their scores are numbers, comparing one initiative score to another initiative score. For example, if initiative C has a risk reduction factor of 2, then initiative D has a risk reduction factor of 5. These are not related to any absolute value; they are relative to each other. Even though it is possible   to talk about an absolute value, do not use any absolute value when filling up the scores on this table. This is a relative comparison table, based on units from one to ten.

 

Business Value Effort

The business value effort score is calculated based on Don Reinerson work on Cost of Delay  — which is also the basis for the WSJF prioritisation, used by the SAFe framework.

 

The business value score is a number form 0 to 5, resulting from the following formula:

 

business value score = Business Value + Time Criticality + Risk Reduction / 3
  • Business Value: What potential value or negative impact to our business? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Time Criticality: How fast does business value decrease over time? Will users wait for us or find another option? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Risk Reduction: What is the risk of delaying this initiative for our business? Will this initiative open / facilitate new business opportunities? (value from 0 to 5)

User eXperience Score

The User eXperience Score is calculated based on Sean’s work on RICE prioritisation.

 

The User eXperience score is a number from 0 to 5, resulting from the following formula: User eXperience score = Reach + Impact + Confidence / 3
  • Reach: How many people will be impacted by this initiative? (Consider for same period) (value from 0 to 5)
  • Impact: How much will this impact each of these people? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Confidence: How confident are you about these numbers? (value from 0 to 5)

Relative effort Score

The Relative Effort Score is a relative comparison based on the effort for working on each initiative. The initiative with least amount of effort is a 1. All other initiatives must be valued in comparison to the canonic — 1 — effort. If an initiative has more than 10 effort, break it into smaller initiatives so it fits in the effort range between 1 and 10.

 

  • Effort: How does this initiative compare to others (value 1 to 10)

Facilitator guidelines

I have facilitated many sessions for filling up the collaborative prioritisation table. Here is a step by step on how to do it:
  1. List and talk about every initiative, without disclosing the criteria
  2. Explain all the seven criteria used to calculate the scores (print it on an A4 paper and hand one per participant)
  3. For each criteria, have a conversation and then score each initiative
  4. Calculate each initiative score
Here is the seven criteria (to be copied and printed on an A4 paper to be handed to the participants):
  • Business Value: What potential value or negative impact to our business? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Time Criticality: How fast does business value decrease over time? Will users wait for us or find another option? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Risk Reduction: What is the risk of delaying this initiative for our business? Will this initiative open / facilitate new business opportunities? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Reach: How many people will be impacted by this initiative? (Consider for same period) (value from 0 to 5)
  • Impact: How much will this impact each of these people? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Confidence: How confident are you about these numbers? (value from 0 to 5)
  • Effort: How does this initiative compare to others (value 1 to 10)
This post is based on an eBook in Portuguese Estratégia Lean or Lean Strategy in English. Soon, other parts of the eBook will be released as blog posts on the Lean Strategy. Then an eBook will follow.