Data-Driven Product Backlog Prioritization

Have you ever experienced that moment where you have a list with a bunch of “nice to have” ideas for your product but you are not really sure where to start with?

During the path of product improvement, there are several approaches that could be taken in order to prioritize a backlog without losing focus on what is important, such as having interviews with users in order to understand what kind of problems they are facing, which ones are blocking issues or painful ones. Another option is to get presales and sales teams feedback and analyze how the prospects or customers envision their business and take that as input to identify enhancements. Or, on the other hand, as part of a proactive and discovery process, use a data analysis tool that lets you find out your users’ behaviors with a particular product, interpret different user flows and elaborate corrective actions based on the information collected.

The role of a Project Manager within a company is often underestimated and many times unknown. Learn the importance of this role within an organization.

In an ideal world, the best scenario would be a stock of developers assigned and eager to work in your product roadmap, but… back to reality, it can happen that you have limited resources to collaborate in moving forward with product creation, or you may also face a limited budget assigned to the project so you will have to be careful about selecting the “candidates feature list” in order to save costs. So, in some particular conditions, the art of selecting which is the best feature for your next product release could be really challenging!

Assuming you are in a context where reaching your final user for some reason is not possible and you need to obtain user experience results, I would like to explore the option of using a data analysis tool. So, let’s start from the beginning…

 

  • What is it? If you are unfamiliar with these kinds of tools, I can tell you that the first version and the most widely spread one is Google Analytics, created in 2005, and since then it has tremendously revolutionized capturing a lot of rich information about how your end-users interact with a web-based system or app, the most recent releases incorporate real-time tracking options. Another one, very similar and more oriented to marketing is called Mixpixel created in 2009.

 

  • How do they differentiate from Sentinel’s solution? Although most solutions are monitoring data, Sentinel is more oriented to the system performance (such as memory consumption, transaction logs, etc.), while the data analysis tools are focused on user interaction such as system navigation behaviors, user location, and hours of usage, etc.
  • How does it work? The implementation is really simple from a technical point of view; you just need to include in each of the system/apps form a script that is provided by the tool and which has all the logic to capture user’s interaction data. There is no need to deploy or setup additional components to your product. Once the script is enabled in your platform and the users interact with these forms, you will see all the data in the analysis tool dashboard, filter out by date ranges, regions, device types, and many more options.
  • What kind of data is available? It is possible to know the user’s location, device OS version, and device types he is using (such as mobile versions and brands), how he is navigating through the system, and identify behavior usability patterns. With a little extra effort, you can also track the user events, such as filling a form, clicking a call to action button, links clicks, etc.
  • What about the price? At present, some of them offer a free account that includes very powerful capabilities, another provides limited functionality, and paying a monthly subscription provides a full product version. But my recommendation is starting with a free account because the kind of data it tracks is impressive.

Predicting user behaviors with these kinds of tools is really helpful because you can identify which are the most used features and the way of interaction, so in a relatively short time, you can get a lot of important data for your product prioritization.

The role of a Project Manager within a company is often underestimated and many times unknown. Learn the importance of this role within an organization.

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