agile > chapter 2 launch and planning > 7 refining priorities

Refining Priorities

Techniques such as MoSCoW and Kano help us to prioritize the project requirements according to the amount of perceived business value that they will deliver to the customer.

It is a completely different case when it comes to prioritizing requirements according to the order in which we will build them. As such, we have other tools and techniques to help us reorder them by how we will execute the work, especially important to us is where we will start the work.

Product tree

We create a set of sticky notes for each tier of requirements in MoSCoW, using a different color for each tier. We then create a tree using the sticky notes:

The more Must requirements that are the leaves of a branch, the more important the persona for that branch is. If a project has many requirements in the roots and trunk then it is considered as being high risk - it requires a lot of initial investment before we can even begin to deliver business value to the customers.

Requirements must be completed from the lower parts of the tree (roots and trunk) before we complete those for the various personas. The product tree is a representation of the project backlog.

Visual management

A core idea in agile is consistent access to easily understandable information via "information radiators". We try our best to have a visual management style where possible. This is because tools that make information easy to visualize help to reduce the mental overhead commonly associated with performing management tasks in more traditional approaches.