1) “What is the problem we are trying to solve?”
Ask the internal stakeholders who are pitching new ideas to you, ask this of customers who are asking for new features and repeatedly ask yourself to make sure you are not deviating from it as you are getting caught up in the weeds.
2) Is this going to move the “needle”?
What is the measurable impact solving the problem has and by how much? Which “needle” is this going to move – sales “needle”? customer satisfaction “needle”? customer support cost “needle”? marketing “needle”?, engineering “needle”? If it is not going to move anything significantly, then it is nothing but a “nice to have” and probably is not worth spending time on. Don’t forget about the opportunity costs when you are pursuing something that is nice to have.
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Image: Courtesy of Winston Motor sports