6 Ways to Prioritise Features and Bugs in Product Development

16 Mar, 2023 | Read in 5 minutes

Product development can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan. Learn how to prioritise features and bugs in product development with our 6-step guide.


Product development can be a complex and challenging process, especially when it comes to deciding which features and bugs to prioritise. Choosing the wrong idea can lead to failure anyway.

Do you agree that many companies fail because of a lack of good ideas? Building the wrong thing and there is no market need for it is the main reason startups fail, one article from CB Insights explained.

Keep in mind that choosing the right features to build means many factors to consider. You must consider the customer needs, business goals, and technical feasibility.

Most product managers know that deciding the right features is the most challenging part of the product roadmap. It needs a project budget, energy, resources, and the right time. Well, it’s a big deal.

Before we dive into how to prioritise features and bugs in product development, learn about the definition of product development and its process.

What is Product Development?

Product development is a road to market a new product. It covers every step that product managers and product development teams take to bring a new product idea to life, according to ProductHQ. It starts from ideation and research, concept development, prototyping, mass production, and market launch.

Companies strive to be more agile with product development since it is the key to business success. To gain market share, some companies use product development strategies such as changing ideas, creating a new product, and offering a trial.

What is the Product Development Process?

A new product development process involves these steps:

  • Product Goals Defined: It is important to decide on the purpose and goals. The product goals enable the product development team to design a product consistent with the company's vision. Hence the product goals align with the company's goals.
  • Market research: Understanding the demands of the target market comes after the product manager has defined the product goals.
  • Idea generation: Developing a fresh idea is a challenging process. It is a creative process that needs careful brainstorming and unique ideas.
  • Mind mapping: To come up with fresh ideas, mind mapping is a common ideation process.
  • Doing collaborative innovation: Another popular method for producing new ideas is collaborative innovation.

6 Ways to Prioritise Features and Bugs in Product Development

It’s important to have the right decision when it comes to prioritising features and bugs. Here are some ways to prioritise features and bugs in product development.

1. Classify the features

Classifying the features is an important step in prioritising them for product development. By understanding the different types of features and bugs, you can prioritise the ones that have the most significant impact on your product.

Features can be classified into three main categories using one of the prioritisation techniques: MoSCoW Prioritisation (must-haves, should-haves, and nice-to-haves).

Let’s catch up with some things before you do a MoSCoW analysis. First, the product team and key stakeholders need to agree on goals and ranking criteria. After that, everyone involved must unite on the top priorities.

2. Classify the bugs

Bugs can be classified and prioritised into three main categories: low, normal, high, and critical.

  1. Critical bugs are ones that, if left unfixed, can result in significant issues. These need to be fixed immediately.
  2. High bugs are those that might annoy users or the system but aren't necessarily dangerous. As quickly as feasible, these should be fixed.
  3. Normal bugs are those that might still need to be solved even though they don't necessarily impact the system or users. It shouldn’t be ignored.
  4. Lowbugs are those that don't harm the users or the system, but they might be troublesome if left unfixed.

3. User Feedback

One of the most effective ways to prioritise features and bugs is to use customer feedback. Your customers are the best source of information when it comes to understanding their needs and expectations.

Let’s say that collecting feedback through surveys, user testing, and interviews can help you to succeed in your product. Hence you can identify the features and bugs that are most important to them.

You can use feature requests as product feedback that includes:

  • Ideas for improving and changing your user interface (UI).
  • Integration requests for other products your consumers may use.
  • Requests to update a popular feature that is already present.
  • Request for entirely new functionality.

4. Define product goals and objectives

Defining your product's goals and objectives is a crucial first step in deciding which features and problems to prioritise.

For example, if your goal is to promote user engagement, you can give priority to features that enhance the user experience or boost the functionality of your product.

You can concentrate on the features and problems that have the biggest effects on your product's success by outlining your product goals and objectives.

5. Use a prioritisation matrix

Let’s say that every task is number one to prioritise, so here is a prioritisation matrix that is useful for categorising features and bugs based on their impact and effort.

You can try the Eisenhower matrix. The matrix typically has four quadrants: low measure/high impact, high effort/high impact, low effort/low impact, and high effort/low impact.

Using a prioritisation matrix can help you identify the features and bugs that have the most significant impact on your product while requiring the least amount of effort. This approach can help you prioritise features and bugs that deliver the most significant value with minimal resources.

6. Involving the team

Involving the team in the prioritisation process to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The team may include product owners, developers, designers, marketers, and salespeople.

You can get input from different perspectives and ensure that everyone's priorities are aligned by involving the team. This approach can help you identify the features and bugs.

Open communication and engagement that involves the team can prevent product failure and minimise the risk.

Final Thoughts

Prioritising features and bugs in product development is an essential step in ensuring the success of your product.

Using customer feedback, defining product goals and objectives, considering business objectives, using a prioritisation matrix, and involving stakeholders, you can make informed decisions about which features and bugs to prioritise.

Focusing on the features and bugs that have the most significant impact on your product's success, you can deliver a product that meets the needs of your customers and achieves your business objectives.

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