Prioritizing Agile epics, user stories, and backlogs is something contemporary product managers have to do on a regular basis.  The need to prioritize comes from a very simple fact: we just don’t have enough resources to work on everything we can come up with.  Over the years I and my teams have worked on hundreds of software releases.  I have used both old style waterfall techniques as well as today’s Agile techniques.

When it comes to prioritizing items for sprints or releases I have tended to use some variant of a weighted multi-factor prioritization scheme.  This typically involves identifying 3 to 7 key factors and weighing the relative importance of each factor to calculate an overall score.  The specific factors have varied between the different companies I have worked for.  Sometimes revenue retention was very important, other times it involved market or competitive parity.

In researching another topic I came across a great piece for Agile Product Owners by Daniel Zacarias entitled 20 Product Prioritization Techniques: A Map and Guided Tour.  The blog goes into great detail about 20 different techniques Product Owners can use to prioritize their backlogs.  It is a long read, but definitely worth it.

My interest in software metrics traces back to 1980s when I was just starting out in the application development world.  Here is a list of resources that shaped my early thinking about metrics and software quality.  If you would enjoy a trip down memory lane, check them out.

Topic Link
Fred Brooks’ Mythical Man Month
Barry Boehm’s COCOMO Model
Thomas McCabe’s Cyclomatic Complexity
Tom DeMarco’s Bang Metric
Allan Albrecht’s Function Points