Engineering prioritization

By Vishal Chalana on Oct 15, 2010

After reading this really interesting blog about “ruthless prioritization” of business opportunities, I realize how close this is to engineering prioritization of products. In a really dynamic enterprise product development environment of a company like ours, there is always an interesting balance to be maintained around business priority and engineering priority. Sales and Product Support want everything in the product, and they have good reasons for it. Being close to customers and evaluators is not an easy job. They can see that a user needs something in the product and they can also see the deals coming in – good drivers for having another feature in the product.

The real art, I believe, lies not in including features, but in excluding them smartly. And I have seen so many times now that this cannot be done by looking at business priority alone. There does not seem to be a straight forward way of doing this. One idea that works most of the time is to have a clear understanding of product and company vision. So, ruthless prioritization of product features needs well-defined product vision and a very detailed discussion of each item.

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