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Resource Allocation and Prioritization — mind-map

Resource allocation is arguably the most important function of management. Resources are finite—and how we allocate them has a dramatic effect on the extent to which we achieve our goals.Mind-map, partial view

As an IT Consultant I used the following simple two-factor heuristic to prioritize use cases and system functionality:

  1. Business benefit
  2. Technical difficulty

where “technical difficulty” included both the amount of work and the complexity / risk associated with the work. For each factor, we assigned a Small, Medium, or Large rating—i.e. “T-shirt sizing.”

This is a commonly used approach.

For an entire product, many organizations use some flavor of “Desirability, Feasibility, and Viability” as outlined, for example, in the book Product Roadmaps Relaunched:

  1. Desirability. Product-Market Fit. Are we providing a solution to a real customer need or want?
  2. Feasibility. Can we make the product?
  3. Viability. The benefit to the organization. Does the product support the company mission, brand, and strategy? Will it be profitable?

Lower-level factors influence each of the high-level criteria above. Informed by several other lists found via a quick internet search, I created my own extensive mind-map to account for these:

Download as PDF

Download as MS Word – the mind-map and a bulleted list

To put this into practice, the next step would be to import the mind-map into a spreadsheet that supports assigning weights to each mid-level branch. Adding a few thought-provoking questions for the lower-level criteria would also add value.

What do you think? Is this list exhaustive, or are there any significant criteria still unaccounted for? Please reply using comments.

Published in Business Analysis Resources

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