I read a lot of blog posts and articles about product development and recently came across a really insight one from the folks at Intercom. Here’s a link: https://blog.intercom.io/first-rule-prioritization-no-snacking/. The premise of the blog post is that development teams can easily be distracted by low effort/low impact work (the “snacking” in the title); they can also think they are doing great things by focusing on low effort/high impact work only to find that as they pick the ‘low-hanging fruit’ they starve the long-term health of the product. The development work with the best long-term payoff is high effort/high impact work that aligns with the product strategy. In the ‘featured image’ here I’ve attached the quadrant that they use for categorizing their efforts.
This is a quick read and I encourage you to dig into it if you are interested in either product development or organizational development; I can even see useful insights for personnel/staff development in this quadrant approach. Take time to read the comments section as well which helpfully amplifies a few key points about the high impact potential of doing a whole set of individually low impact projects. The comments suggest that these folks might agree that in truth it’s not that simple.