Opportunity scoring is a product feature prioritization framework. It asks customers to identify features they deem important but that are otherwise underdeveloped or disappointing. Opportunity scoring is derived from the outcome-driven innovation (ODI) strategy developed by Tony Ulwick in the 1990s. It is a user-centric process that gives product teams direct access to customers and their associated needs and wants.
|Opportunity Scoring||Key Elements||Analysis||Implications||Applications||Examples|
|Definition||Opportunity Scoring is a systematic method for evaluating and prioritizing opportunities or ideas based on predefined criteria. It helps organizations make informed decisions about which opportunities to pursue and allocate resources to the most promising ones.||Analyzing Opportunity Scoring involves understanding the criteria and metrics used for evaluation. Organizations define specific factors, such as market potential, feasibility, and alignment with strategic goals, to assess opportunities objectively. The scoring process assigns numerical values to these criteria.||Opportunity Scoring provides a structured approach to decision-making, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently to opportunities with the highest potential. It minimizes subjective bias and promotes transparency in the evaluation process. Effective scoring helps organizations focus on opportunities that align with their strategic objectives.||Opportunity Scoring aids organizations in making informed choices about resource allocation, project selection, and strategic investments. It enables better decision-making by considering both quantitative and qualitative factors.||– New product development: Prioritizing product ideas based on market demand, technical feasibility, and profitability. – Investment decisions: Evaluating potential projects or ventures to determine their alignment with strategic goals and expected returns. – Resource allocation: Allocating budget, manpower, and time to initiatives that offer the greatest value and impact. – Strategic planning: Identifying growth opportunities and competitive advantages to inform long-term strategies.|
|Criteria||Criteria are the specific factors or attributes used to evaluate opportunities. These criteria can vary depending on the organization’s goals and industry. Common criteria include market size, profitability, risk, feasibility, and strategic alignment.||Analyzing criteria involves defining and customizing them to suit the organization’s needs. Criteria should be relevant, measurable, and aligned with strategic objectives. The choice of criteria can significantly impact the scoring process and the outcome of opportunity evaluation.||Criteria serve as the foundation for opportunity evaluation. They guide decision-makers in assessing the suitability and potential of opportunities. Well-defined criteria ensure that evaluations are consistent, objective, and based on relevant factors.||Criteria selection is critical and should reflect the organization’s priorities and objectives. Regular review and adjustment of criteria are necessary to adapt to changing market conditions and business goals.||– Market potential: Assessing the size, growth rate, and demand for a new product or service in a specific market segment. – Feasibility: Evaluating the technical, operational, and financial feasibility of a project or initiative. – Strategic fit: Determining how well an opportunity aligns with the organization’s long-term goals and competitive strategy. – Risk assessment: Analyzing potential risks and their impact on the success of the opportunity.|
|Scoring Method||The scoring method defines how criteria are weighted and how scores are assigned to opportunities. It can be a simple numerical scale (e.g., 1 to 5) or a more complex system that considers the relative importance of criteria. The method ensures a consistent and objective evaluation process.||Analyzing the scoring method involves determining the weight assigned to each criterion and the scoring scale used (e.g., 1 to 10 or 0% to 100%). The method should reflect the organization’s priorities, and criteria weights should sum up to 100% to maintain consistency. The choice of method affects the overall opportunity scores.||The scoring method quantifies the evaluation process, allowing opportunities to be ranked based on their total scores. It provides a basis for comparison and helps decision-makers identify the most promising opportunities. The method ensures that both quantitative and qualitative factors are considered in the assessment.||The scoring method plays a crucial role in opportunity prioritization and resource allocation. Organizations should ensure that the method is transparent and well-documented to maintain credibility and trust in the evaluation process.||– Weighted scoring: Assigning different weights to criteria based on their importance, allowing for a more nuanced evaluation. – Simple scoring: Using a straightforward numerical scale to rate opportunities on each criterion, with equal importance for all factors. – Comparative scoring: Comparing opportunities directly against each other on each criterion to determine their relative rankings. – Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA): Employing advanced techniques to account for complex interdependencies and trade-offs among criteria.|
|Opportunity Scores||Opportunity scores are numerical values assigned to each opportunity based on the criteria and scoring method. Higher scores indicate more favorable opportunities. These scores allow for objective comparison and ranking of opportunities.||Analyzing opportunity scores involves calculating them for each opportunity by applying the defined criteria and scoring method. The scores provide a quantitative representation of the opportunities’ potential and alignment with organizational goals. The opportunities with the highest scores are considered the most promising.||Opportunity scores facilitate decision-making by providing a clear and objective basis for comparing and prioritizing opportunities. They help organizations focus their efforts and resources on initiatives with the greatest potential for success. Effective scoring leads to better resource allocation and strategic decision-making.||Opportunity scores are essential for creating a prioritized list of opportunities, enabling organizations to invest time, money, and effort wisely. They serve as a reference point for discussions, stakeholder communication, and project planning.||– Opportunity A: Score of 82, indicating strong potential and alignment with strategic goals. – Opportunity B: Score of 65, suggesting moderate potential but some concerns about feasibility. – Opportunity C: Score of 47, signaling limited potential and a lower alignment with strategic objectives. – Opportunity D: Score of 93, indicating exceptional potential and a strong fit with the organization’s long-term vision.|
|Resource Allocation||Once opportunities are scored and ranked, organizations can allocate resources based on their scores and strategic importance. This step involves decision-making about funding, manpower, time, and other resources to pursue the selected opportunities.||Analyzing resource allocation involves making decisions about the allocation of resources based on opportunity scores and available resources. High-scoring opportunities typically receive more resources, while lower-scoring ones may receive limited or no resources. Resource allocation should align with strategic goals and constraints.||Resource allocation based on opportunity scores ensures that organizations invest their resources where they are likely to yield the best returns. It optimizes resource utilization, minimizes risks, and enhances the likelihood of success. Effective allocation requires coordination and monitoring throughout the implementation phase.||Resource allocation decisions have a significant impact on an organization’s ability to execute its strategies and achieve its objectives. It involves budgeting, staffing, project planning, and setting timelines for opportunity execution. Careful consideration of resource allocation enhances the organization’s ability to seize valuable opportunities.||– Allocating a larger budget to Opportunity A due to its high score and strategic significance. – Assigning a dedicated project team to Opportunity D to ensure its successful development. – Allocating minimal resources to Opportunity C due to its limited potential and low alignment with strategic goals. – Monitoring resource utilization and adjusting allocations as needed based on opportunity progress and changing circumstances.|
|Continuous Review||Opportunity Scoring is not a one-time process. It requires continuous review and reassessment of opportunities, criteria, and scoring methods. Changing market conditions, new data, and evolving strategies may necessitate adjustments in opportunity evaluations.||Analyzing continuous review involves periodically revisiting and reevaluating the opportunities in the pipeline. It includes updating criteria, revising scoring methods, and incorporating new information or insights. Continuous review ensures that opportunity assessments remain relevant and aligned with organizational goals.||Continuous review is essential to adapt to dynamic business environments and stay responsive to emerging opportunities and threats. It allows organizations to refine their decision-making processes, identify course corrections, and reallocate resources as needed. It promotes agility and ensures that opportunities are pursued strategically.||Continuous review fosters a culture of adaptability and learning within organizations. It encourages feedback loops, data-driven decision-making, and the incorporation of lessons learned from previous opportunities. Organizations that embrace continuous review are better equipped to thrive in rapidly changing markets.||– Quarterly review meetings to assess the progress and relevance of existing opportunities. – Updating criteria and weights to reflect changing market dynamics or shifts in strategic focus. – Incorporating feedback from stakeholders and project teams to improve the scoring process. – Reevaluating the portfolio of opportunities to identify new growth areas and divest from low-performing ventures.|
Understanding opportunity scoring
Opportunity scoring is closely related to the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) methodology, also one of Ulwick’s creations. With respect to JTBD, the key to maximum product value is determining the goals and desired outcomes of the user. In other words, what job does the product empower a user to complete?
Given the similarity of both approaches, it’s useful to think of opportunity scoring as an additional layer of JTBD. Customers are asked to identify important product features they feel are underdeveloped or indeed absent entirely. This removes the guesswork out of product design, shifting the focus from theory-based to practical-based product development.
Opportunity scoring differs from other product prioritization approaches such as the Value vs. Complexity analysis. Instead, think of opportunity scoring as an importance-versus-satisfaction analysis that seeks to make product innovation more predictable.
Conducting opportunity scoring
To conduct an opportunity scoring analysis, businesses must follow these steps:
1 – Create lists
Begin by creating a list of product features and the associated results (outcomes) of each feature.
2 – Survey customers with a scoring system
Then, survey a group of customers by asking them two questions:
- How important is this feature or outcome to you?
- How satisfied are you with how the product delivers this feature or outcome?
Both questions are rated on a scale of 1-5, where 1 denotes low importance/satisfaction and 5 denotes high importance/satisfaction.
3 – Analyse the results
Any features receiving a high importance rating coupled with a low satisfaction level should be investigated further. These will likely yield a significant ROI for the business but in any case, product teams must also consider the associated costs of seizing such an opportunity.
Features deemed low importance and low satisfaction can be ignored or removed altogether. This frees up resources to enhance other product features.
4 – Further detailed analysis (optional)
When scoring product features, opportunity scoring gives importance and satisfaction equal weight. However, some product teams may choose to borrow concepts from Ulwick’s ODI methodology. In this case, the value of user importance is doubled in relation to satisfaction
With an emphasis on gauging the outcomes customers value most, a thorough understanding of their goals and motivations is crucial. Again, the features or outcomes most suited to innovation are those that have high importance values coupled with low satisfaction values.
- Opportunity scoring is a product prioritization framework. It asks customers to score features based on their relative importance and how satisfied they are with each.
- Opportunity scoring is closely related to the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) methodology, which has a focus on understanding the goals and desired outcomes of the end user.
- Opportunity scoring is an importance-versus-satisfaction analysis that seeks to make innovation more predictable. Product teams can deepen the analysis by giving importance values double weight.
- Understanding Opportunity Scoring: Opportunity scoring is a method of prioritizing product features. It involves asking customers to rate the importance of underdeveloped or lacking features. This approach is derived from Tony Ulwick’s Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) strategy, focusing on user needs and wants.
- Opportunity Scoring vs. Jobs To Be Done (JTBD): Opportunity scoring is linked to the Jobs To Be Done methodology. It adds a layer to JTBD by having customers identify crucial but underdeveloped features. This shifts product design from theory-based to practical-based development.
- Conducting Opportunity Scoring Analysis:
- Create Lists: List product features and their associated outcomes.
- Survey Customers: Ask customers about feature importance and satisfaction, rating each on a scale of 1-5.
- Analyze Results: Investigate features with high importance but low satisfaction, considering potential ROI and costs.
- Detailed Analysis (Optional): Some teams may double the importance weight. Understanding customer goals and motivations is crucial.
- Key Takeaways:
- Opportunity scoring prioritizes features by having customers score their importance and satisfaction.
- It relates to JTBD, emphasizing user goals and outcomes.
- Opportunity scoring aims for more predictable innovation by analyzing importance and satisfaction.
- Teams can enhance analysis by giving importance double weight for deeper insights.
Connected Agile & Lean Frameworks
- Business Models
- Business Strategy
- Business Development
- Distribution Channels
- Marketing Strategy
- Platform Business Models
- Network Effects
Main Case Studies: