What is a Prioritization Framework?

Ruben Buijs
August 10, 2023

A prioritization framework is a tool used in product management to systematically evaluate and rank various tasks, features, or projects based on their relative importance and urgency. It helps product managers make informed decisions about resource allocation and ensure that the most valuable initiatives are given priority.


Prioritization is crucial in product management as it helps teams focus their efforts on the most impactful work. Without a clear framework, product managers may struggle to determine which tasks or features should be prioritized, leading to inefficiencies and wasted resources. By using a prioritization framework, product managers can align their team's efforts with strategic goals, maximize the value delivered to customers, and optimize the use of limited resources.

How to use it

  1. Identify criteria: Start by defining the criteria that will guide your prioritization process. These criteria can include factors like customer impact, business value, feasibility, effort required, and alignment with strategic objectives.
  2. Assign weights: Assign weights to each criterion based on their relative importance. For example, if customer impact is a top priority, assign it a higher weight than other criteria.
  3. Evaluate and score: Evaluate each task, feature, or project against each criterion and assign scores accordingly. You can use a numerical scale or a simple ranking system.
  4. Calculate priority: Multiply the scores by the assigned weights and sum them up to calculate a priority score for each item. This score will help you determine the relative importance of each item.
  5. Rank and prioritize: Sort the items based on their priority scores and create a ranked list. This list will guide your team's focus and resource allocation.


Here are a few examples of prioritization frameworks commonly used in product management:

  1. MoSCoW method: This framework categorizes items into four buckets - Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won't have. It helps prioritize based on criticality and impact.
  2. Kano model: This framework classifies features into three categories - Basic, Performance, and Excitement. It focuses on customer satisfaction and prioritizes features that delight customers.
  3. ICE score: ICE stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease. This framework assigns scores to each criterion and helps prioritize initiatives based on their potential impact, confidence in success, and ease of implementation.

Useful Tips

  • Involve stakeholders: Seek input from relevant stakeholders to ensure a well-rounded perspective and alignment with business goals.
  • Regularly reassess priorities: Priorities can change as market conditions, customer needs, and business objectives evolve. Continuously reassess and adjust your prioritization framework accordingly.
  • Communicate transparently: Clearly communicate the rationale behind prioritization decisions to gain buy-in from team members and stakeholders.

Related Terms


What is a prioritization framework?

A prioritization framework is a structured approach or methodology used by product managers to determine the order or importance of tasks, projects, or features.

Why is prioritization important in product management?

Prioritization is important in product management because it helps allocate resources effectively, focus on high-value features, and ensure the most important work is completed first.

What are the common types of prioritization frameworks?

Some common types of prioritization frameworks include the MoSCoW method, Kano model, weighted scoring, value vs. effort matrix, and the RICE scoring model.

How do I choose the right prioritization framework for my product?

Choosing the right prioritization framework depends on factors such as the nature of your product, available resources, team dynamics, and desired outcomes. It's important to evaluate different frameworks and select the one that aligns best with your specific needs.

What is the MoSCoW method?

The MoSCoW method is a prioritization technique that categorizes requirements into four priority levels: Must-haves, Should-haves, Could-haves, and Won't-haves. It helps identify the minimum viable product (MVP) features and prioritize them accordingly.

What is the Kano model?

The Kano model is a prioritization framework that classifies features or requirements into five categories: Must-be quality, One-dimensional quality, Attractive quality, Indifferent quality, and Reverse quality. It helps understand customer satisfaction and prioritize features accordingly.

What is weighted scoring?

Weighted scoring is a prioritization technique where product managers assign weights to different criteria or factors based on their importance. Features or projects are then scored and ranked based on these weighted criteria to prioritize them.

What is a value vs. effort matrix?

A value vs. effort matrix is a prioritization tool that helps evaluate features or tasks based on their value to the customer versus the effort required to implement them. It helps identify quick wins and high-value opportunities.

What is the RICE scoring model?

The RICE scoring model is a prioritization framework that stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. Each feature or task is scored on these four factors, and the overall score helps prioritize them. It provides a systematic approach to decision-making.

How often should I update my prioritization framework?

The frequency of updating your prioritization framework depends on the nature of your product, market dynamics, and evolving customer needs. It is recommended to review and update your framework regularly, especially when significant changes occur.