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Impact and effort

A few issues I have with most conversations about prioritizing based on impact and effort:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.