A simple spreadsheet for prioritizing your next project

This spreadsheet for prioritizing projects was not our idea. The credit goes to Brian Armstrong from Coinbase. But we really liked Brian’s idea, so we decided to spread the word here. Plus, this spreadsheet works great in the context of our “how to avoid analysis paralysis” method. It helps you improve your tech discovery skills because you produce more actionable results more quickly.

A while ago, Brian wrote this great article:

How we make decisions at Coinbase

The article features a simple spreadsheet, the Coinbase Decision Making Template.

We really like the template, and modified it just a little bit for our purposes: we added a user story field. While this may seem like a very small change, we feel strongly about it because in our experience, the failure quote of projects without a user story is very close to 100%. Our user stories use this template from Mike Cohn:

As a [role], I want to [capability], so that I can [benefit].

We’ve learned that “role” is very important, and that just saying “user of our software” as a role is a form of cowardice.

So, here is our sheet for project prioritizing (-> save to Google Drive -> File -> Make a copy):

Mergeflow's spreadsheet for collecting team feedback to prioritize internal projects. Derived from a spreadsheet created by Coinbase.
The decision making sheet we adopted from Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong.

If you prefer Excel over Google Sheets, here you go (-> Save as -> Download a copy) :

Get the Excel version

We hope you like the prioritization sheet. And Brian, let us know when you come to Munich, so we can buy you lunch.

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