When it comes to prioritization, don’t go it alone

Ulaize Hernandez Troyas makes a good argument for involving full teams in the prioritization of what to work on:

This type of ongoing communication throughout the prioritization process has a definite cost, but the number of benefits from this approach is worth it. We have reduced friction between teammates, which has saved us from long-winded conversations that stemmed from misunderstandings. The sense of ownership and purpose has increased the team’s motivation. On a more personal level, having these open product discussions has challenged my own thinking many times over, which has definitely improved our product direction as a result.

In terms of the specifics of how this works in practice, I tend to prefer a combined approach rather than asking the team to come up with an initial list of priorities themselves. We have a leads team that comes up with a proposal for our priorities for the quarter, based on our business goals and customer insights. We then spend about a week with the entire team discussing our proposal, refining the approach, and making sure everyone is aligned and excited about what we’re working on.