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What is an Impact Score?

Ruben Buijs

Founder & Digital Consultant

Written on Aug 10, 2023

2 minutes

Product Management

The Impact Score is a metric used in product management to evaluate and prioritize potential features or tasks based on their potential impact on the product and its users. It helps product managers make informed decisions about what to prioritize and focus on.

Importance

The Impact Score is crucial in product management because it enables teams to allocate their limited resources effectively. By assigning a score to each feature or task, product managers can identify and prioritize those that will have the most significant impact on the product's success. It ensures that the team is aligning their efforts with the product's strategic goals and delivering value to the users.

How to Use it

To calculate the Impact Score, product managers typically consider a combination of factors such as the potential number of users affected, the severity of the problem being solved, and the alignment with the product vision. Each factor is assigned a numerical value, and the total score is calculated by summing up these values.

For example, let's say you are working on a project management software, and you have two potential features: A) Adding a Kanban board functionality and B) Implementing a real-time collaboration feature. You can assign a score of 1-5 to each factor for both features. If the Kanban board has a potential user reach of 4, a severity score of 3, and aligns with the product vision score of 5, its Impact Score would be 12. Similarly, if the real-time collaboration feature has scores of 5, 4, and 4 respectively, its Impact Score would be 13. Based on these scores, you can prioritize the real-time collaboration feature as it has a higher potential impact.

Useful Tips

  • Engage with stakeholders: Gather input from different stakeholders such as customers, users, and internal teams to understand their perspectives on potential impacts. This can help you assess the importance of different factors and refine the scores accordingly.

  • Regularly reassess scores: As market conditions, user needs, and business goals evolve, it's essential to reassess the Impact Scores of features and tasks. Regularly reviewing and updating the scores ensures that you are adapting your priorities based on new information.

  • Balance short-term and long-term impact: While it's tempting to focus solely on features with immediate impact, it's crucial to consider the long-term impact as well. Balancing short-term wins with strategic initiatives can help create sustained value for the product and its users.

FAQ

An impact score is a measure used in product management to evaluate the potential impact or importance of a feature or project.
The calculation of an impact score can vary depending on the organization, but it typically takes into account factors such as user need, business value, technical feasibility, and strategic alignment.
The impact score helps product managers prioritize and make informed decisions about which features or projects to focus on first. It ensures that resources are allocated to initiatives that have the highest potential impact.
The impact score is usually determined by a cross-functional team, including product managers, engineers, designers, and stakeholders. Their collective expertise and insights are used to assess the potential impact.
Yes, the impact score can change over time. As new information becomes available or market conditions shift, the impact score may be re-evaluated to reflect the updated understanding of potential impact.
No, the impact score is not a definitive measure. It is a tool to guide decision-making and prioritization. Other factors, such as resource availability and project dependencies, also influence the final prioritization.
To improve the impact score, you can gather user feedback, conduct market research, analyze competitor offerings, and align the feature or project with strategic goals. It's important to continuously iterate and refine based on insights.
Yes, different organizations may use different scales or ranges for impact scores. Some may use a numerical scale, such as 1-10, while others may use labels like low, medium, and high impact. The scale should be defined and agreed upon by the organization.
The frequency of reassessing impact scores can vary depending on the organization and the nature of the product or projects. It is recommended to regularly review and update impact scores, particularly when new information or market dynamics emerge.
In some cases, the impact score can be overridden by higher-level strategic decisions or urgent business needs. However, such overrides should be carefully considered and communicated to ensure transparency and alignment.

Article by

Ruben Buijs

Ruben is the founder of ProductLift. I employ a decade of consulting experience from Ernst & Young to maximize clients' ROI on new Tech developments. I now help companies build better products

Table of contents

  1. Importance
  2. How to Use it
  3. Useful Tips
  4. Related Terms

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