Bang-for-the-Buck

Goal: Prioritize Backlog Items

Bang-for-the-Buck involves collaboration among the product manager and development team to prioritize backlog items. Rather than blindly moving down your agenda without any direction, this game allows you to analyze the costs and benefits of each task, and to organize them in a way that shows you where to begin and in what order to go in. Graph each item against cost and value so you can prioritize your to-do list and start checking items off.

The Game

Prioritize instantly with Bang-for-the-Buck online!

Before the meeting, draw a graph with the “value” of the items on the y-axis and the “cost” of them on the x-axis, organizing each axis as a Fibonacci number. Write the backlog items on sticky notes and post them by the chart. Ask your players to write down any other tasks and to put them along with yours. As a group, take time to discuss where each item belongs on the graph. The product manager should focus on what the “value” position of the task is, while the development team concentrates on the “cost” placement on the x-axis. With multiple players, you can get different perspectives on the aspects of each item. After all the items have been posted, use the chart to get started on your agenda. Follow the graphed items in a clockwise order to optimize value delivery. If one item must be accomplished soon but is too costly to start right away, work together to identify how to move it to the left on the graph.

Why it Works

This game is helpful to prioritize both short-term and long-run tasks. By comparing the value and cost of each item, you can collaborate to alter approaches for the tasks depending on which are most important. The discussion and visualization involved in Bang-for-the-Buck helps you think differently about where to begin working; this not only increases efficiency and productivity, but also allows you to see an impact faster.