Scoring your opportunities will always involve some level of assumption, but there are some things you can do to improve your estimations.
These 5 principles can help you regardless of the criterion you’re rating:
- Define your opportunities clearly. The more clearly you define opportunities, the easier it will be for you to estimate their potential impact. Use our opportunity checklist before you prioritize your opportunities. If you have created solutions ready; link them to your opportunities to make them more concrete.
- Score opportunities in relation to each other. With every opportunity you score, ask yourself if a criterion should score higher or lower in relation to the opportunities that already have been scored. The opportunity matrix in TheyDo is specifically designed to help you do that.
- Include experts. When estimating these scores invite a few experts, for example by hosting a co-creative prioritization session. This helps ensure you make estimations based on a wide range of perspectives and collective experience. For customer value, marketers, sales, UX/service designers, and customer support staff come to mind. For business value, business managers, financial experts, or process experts work well. And for effort, think of software engineers, process experts, legal, or other experts that understand the true work that implementation requires.
- Predict impact as well as you can; Back-of-the-napkin calculations already help and modeling outcomes can help even more. Always remember though that these are still only estimations.
- Use scorecards. To ensure people across the organization score consistently, you can create scorecards on how to score customer value, business value, and effort. For example with effort; create a guideline stating that a ‘1’ stands for an estimated 100 hours of work, ‘2’ stands for 250 hours of work, etc.
Next to the general tips mentioned above, there are several unique tips for customer value, business value, and effort you can use to improve your scoring.
- Send out a questionnaire to customers. Consider sending out a questionnaire where you let your customers rate your opportunities, or card-sort them into their preferred order of importance. This can help a great deal to take the guesswork out of estimating customer value.
- Invite customers to score with you. After all, they are the experts of their own experience. Invite your customers to score opportunities in the room with you.
- Create a business case. Even a back-of-the-napkin calculation of potential business value can help a lot to better estimate a case. If you’re very serious about this, you can even model many of the potential outcomes of implementing a set of solutions related to an opportunity.
- Link solutions, then score the collective solution effort. Opportunities are often phrased very ‘broadly’ by definition. This can make their estimation a little more complex, since it might not be clear what you’re trying to estimate the effort of exactly. ITo make it more concrete what an opportunity actually encompasses, you can link several solutions that belong to it. You can then regard the opportunity effort as the collective effort needed to implement those solutions. This can provide you with a better understanding of the effort needed to implement an opportunity.
- Skip effort: If you don’t have any solutions mapped yet, you could consider to skip effort for now, and revisit it when you know more about the solutions that can be linked to opportunities.