From Brainstorm to Business: Frameworks for Product Idea Selection

Product idea

Ever stared at a whiteboard flowing with product ideas, each one twinkling with potential? You’re not alone. Choosing the right one can feel like picking a diamond from a treasure chest – exciting, but tricky!

Here’s the thing: without a plan, you might grab the flashiest idea, the one championed by the loudest voice, or the easiest to build. But that could be a recipe for disaster. Resources are limited, so picking the wrong idea can hurt your business.

This is where frameworks come in – powerful tools to help you navigate the often messy process of product idea selection.

What Makes An Idea A Winner?

No matter what framework you choose, every idea needs to be weighed against these key questions:

  • Market Need: Is there a real problem your product solves, or is it just a solution looking for a customer?
  • Build Cost: How much time and cash will it take to bring this idea to life?
  • Competitive Edge: What makes your product stand out in the crowd?
  • Risks: Are there any hidden roadblocks that could trip you up?
  • Speed to Market: Can you get it out there before someone else steals the show?
  • User Value: Will users love it, and is the benefit worth the investment?
  • Company Fit: Does this product align with your overall business goals?

How To Filter Your Product Ideas?

Not every idea is a winner. Frameworks for filtering product ideas are your secret weapon to sift through the good, the bad, and the downright wacky.

Let’s delve into some of the most popular frameworks to equip you for informed decision-making!

1. RICE Framework

RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. By assigning scores to each factor, you can calculate a RICE score that helps you objectively compare and prioritize your feature ideas.

  • Reach: Estimate the number of users who will be affected by a feature/ idea in a specific time frame. 
  • Impact:  Evaluate the positive effect the feature/idea will have on users and the business. This can include revenue potential, user engagement, customer satisfaction, or strategic alignment with business goals. Since it’s difficult to measure, the RICE framework prescribes a simple scoring system for determining an idea’s impact:
    • Massive impact – 3
    • High impact – 2
    • Medium impact – 1
    • Low impact – 0.5
    • Minimal impact – 0.25
  • Confidence:  Assess your level of certainty in the expected outcome of the feature or idea. This can be based on customer feedback, market research, or previous experience with similar features. In RICE, Confidence can be expressed as a percentage. You can rely on a simple scale here to determine how confident you are about a project idea:
    • Medium confidence – 80%
    • Low confidence – 50%
    • High confidence – 100%
  • Effort: Estimate the amount of time and resources (development effort, design costs, marketing budget) required to bring the feature to life. Most often, Effort is expressed as person-months, referring to the work 1 team member can do in a month. However, you can also express it as person-hours, person-weeks, etc.

For example, an idea might require a 5-person team working full-time to complete it in a month, so the Effort score would be 5 person-months.

On the other hand, you may have 2 people working on the project for 3 months. In that case, the Effort score is 2 x 3 = 6 person-months.

How to calculate?

RICE Score = (Reach x Impact x Confidence) / Effort

For example: 

FeatureReachImpactConfidenceEffortRICE Score
MB App Push Notifications80,000 users280%525,600
In-App Chat Support20,000 users250%812,500

Based on these scores, Feature 1 (push notifications) has a much higher RICE score and would likely be prioritized over Feature 2 (chatbot). However, it’s important to note that the RICE framework is just one tool for prioritization, and other factors such as strategic alignment and resource constraints may also influence prioritization decisions. 

2. MoSCoW Prioritization

The acronym MoSCoW represents four categories of initiatives: must-have, should-have, could-have, and won’t-have, or will not have right now

  • Must-Have: These are features essential for the core functionality of the product. Without them, the product wouldn’t work as intended.
  • Should-Have: These are important features that enhance the product’s value and user experience. They might not be dealbreakers, but their absence can negatively impact user perception.
  • Could-Have: These are desirable features that add a nice-to-have element to the product but can be deprioritized if needed.
  • Won’t-Have: These features are excluded for the time being but may be considered later based on future needs and resources.

3. Jobs-to-be-done 

This framework focuses on understanding the underlying motivations behind user behaviour.

  • Identify the job: What core problem or task is your user trying to solve?
  • Focus on progress, not solutions: Don’t get caught up in specific products or features. JTBD helps you identify the desired outcome, not the tools used to achieve it.
  • Understand the different types of jobs: People have different reasons for using your product. JTBD categorizes these jobs into functional (e.g., clean clothes with a washing machine), emotional (e.g., feeling confident wearing clean clothes), and social jobs (e.g., projecting a certain image through clothing choices).
  • Identify existing solutions: How are users currently getting the job done today? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions?

Choose The Right Framework That Works

The best framework for you depends on the stage of your product development and your specific needs. In the early stages, focus on MoSCoW to prioritize core functionalities. Later, frameworks like RICE can be valuable for prioritizing features within a validated product concept.

Here’s a simplified approach to using a framework:

  • Gather your team: Involve stakeholders from different departments to gain diverse perspectives.
  • Define your goals: Are you brainstorming new ideas, refining existing ones, or prioritizing features?
  • Choose the right framework: Select a framework that aligns with your current stage and goals.
  • Apply the framework: Follow the specific steps outlined for your chosen framework.
  • Evaluate and discuss: Analyze the results and have open discussions to arrive at a well-informed decision.

    Ready To Turn Your Product Idea Into A Booming Business?

    The world of product ideation can be a whirlwind of exciting possibilities. However, with limited resources and fierce competition, choosing which ideas to pursue requires a critical eye.

    At Enosta, we partner with you to transform brainstorming sessions into powerful innovation hubs. Our process empowers your ideas and meticulously filters them through in-depth research. We ensure your product vision is rooted in a deep understanding of your target market and their needs.

    Don’t let your great ideas get lost in the shuffle. Contact ENSTA today and let’s turn your brainstorm into a reality!

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