A few issues I have with most conversations about prioritizing based on impact and effort:
- They are always plotted as single points of data on a two-dimensional grid, which conveniently ignores how impact and effort change over time. This makes the entire prioritization an extremely volatile, short-term approach to things.
- They are never explicit about who is being impacted. It isn't a straightforward comparison between features if they affect different target audiences differently (which inevitably happens, unless you only ever have one customer)
- They don't include conversations about risk. True innovation requires taking risks and accepting failure. Not thinking about risks means only those things get prioritized that push the current state towards a known, certain future - which means no real risk-taking ever happens.