What is Weighted Scoring? How to create a weighted scoring framework, benefits, and FAQs.

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What is Weighted Scoring?

Weighted Scoring is a model used for prioritisation of the actions, tasks, decisions, features, and other initiatives by assigning a numerical value that is based on the cost advantage or the effort value of the particular action. 

It is a method used by product managers to draw the layout for the product roadmap by giving numbers or points of priority to important and urgent activities. 

As the name implies, through this method all the elements of the product roadmap are weighed and their importance and priority are determined. 

Business decision-making is a tough and crucial task, involving big teams, data sets, user stories, complex features and budgets, and also the high scale of impact of any action or decision. Therefore to make it rational and easy for the executives such a model of numerical scoring against return benefits is devised. 

How to create a weighted scoring framework

  1. Make a list of all the options regarding a certain aspect of the product that are to be included in the product or project roadmap, such as a list of product features, that are to be designed and delivered and any of the outstanding tasks. 
  2. Define the specific criterias on which the options will be weighed. 

The focus lies on cost, ROI, risk, time, and effort that will be required in performing the action. Which factors would be prioritized depends on the product or project, though cost benefits or ROI being the most important. 

  1. Set weight values for each of the criteria. Usually the weight is a percentage. Note that these criterias hold different levels of urgency or importance for a given product at a given situation and we want to make comparisons therefore don’t give the same weight to two criterias. 
  2. Make the weighted scoring chart. This chart has the data of scores of all the options -actions, features, or other steps based on the criterias that are considered, all arranged in rows and columns. It clearly expresses which tasks are more important and beneficial and is required to be performed at the moment. 
  3. You have assigned the weights (in percentage) for the criteria’s importance, now assign a value between 0-5 or 0-10 to the relative tasks (options) with respect to all the criterias. For example your task is to design a feature, and the criteria for prioritisation includes time, ROI and cost incurred then you will have to determine the score for the feature relative to all these criterias. Multiply the task relative score (0-5 or 10) with the individual criteria score (percentage). The value you get will be used for making the priority list. 

Benefits of using the weighted scoring framework

The prime use of a weighted scoring framework is for the prioritization of your product backlog. The detailed benefits of the model are – 

  • To felicitate working on meaningful and relevant tasks that will give valuable returns to the business. 
  • Helps teams in group decision making.  
  • Supports the roadmap by sorting the outstanding tasks based on return benefits, thus helping in making the project successful. 
  • The benefit of this framework over other frameworks used for the backlog prioritization like RICE, ICE or Kano model, is that you get to determine the criterias yourself and also set the value of importance of those criterias depending on the situation at hand. 
  • Weighted scoring method for comparison can also be used in case of decision making and resource allocation. 

Prioritization, decision making, and roadmapping are very vital but also difficult tasks in product management, especially when you are working with a big organization where huge budgets, a high number of employees, and a big market share are involved. There are many tools and methods that are helpful in the assessment of the value of any task or action. It depends on the nature of the problem, the project’s goals, and the organizational structure that determines which method shall be applicable. 

Weighted scoring is one such method or tool where you compare the beneficial impact of all the actions or activities that are included in the project roadmap. This helps in prioritizing the most urgent tasks ahead of the other tasks. The weighted scoring method yields refined results as the actions are assessed on all the relevant and critical criteria such as the cost benefits, time consumed, capital consumed, ROI, and other aspects that are crucial in the context of the situation.

The model is time-dependent. This is because the relevance of criteria that weigh the action’s priority varies with time or we should say market situations. There could be situations in which cost and capital are of utmost importance, and on other occasions, time could be the most critical factor to weigh the priorities.  

FAQs

Q: How to calculate the weighted score? 

A: Assign weights to the criteria which play a critical role in the prioritization. Multiply these weights by the relative task assigned a score, which represents the importance of any criteria with respect to a task. This product is the weighted score. 

Q: What is a weighted scoring framework? 

A: The weighted scoring framework is a method used in project management to compare the competitive advantage of activities in the project roadmap for prioritization. Activities can be such as purchase decisions, feature development, etc. In this framework, the actions are directly weighted against the return benefits and compared for prioritization.  

Q: What are the advantages of using the weighted scoring model? 

A: The major advantages of using a weighted scoring model are – It ensures that the workflow is managed in a way to yield positive outcomes and to not miss out on situational opportunities. The core aim is prioritization through comparison of benefits therefore it helps in decision making, project roadmap formation. The weighted scoring model weighs the cost benefits of actions and thus helps in better allocation of resources for projects. 

Q: What is the origin of the weighted scoring model? 

A: The weighted scoring model originates from the multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) mathematical model in 1979, developed by Stanley Zionts. In MCDM, the objective was decision-making when multiple criteria are at work. Thus the benefits of each of the decisions were compared based on the multiple criteria and ranked. 

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