We spent a lot of thoughtful effort on our study and felt very confident in our findings. However, we were met with a roomful of blank stares during the presentation and had zero success in selling our ideas to our business stakeholders. In fact, most of the conversation centered around whether we were using sound methods, rather than around the important architecture and business initiatives we studied. Back to the drawing board!
We brainstormed a number of different ways of expressing the information… a large number. We finally landed on visualizing the information in the style of the Gartner Magic Quadrant, which visualizes the evaluation of technology players across two dimensions:
Ability to Execute
Completeness of Vision
Taking this as a cue, we realigned our architectural prioritization data to express two dimensions:
Organizational Effort to Execute
Value to the Business
We labeled our four quadrants to reflect their relative priority:
Do Now (Low Effort, High Value): items that could also be described as “low-hanging fruit”
Do Next (High Effort, High Value): items that could yield high value if we invested in them or built up a capability, thus moving the item to the upper right quadrant
Do Later (Low Effort, Low Value): items that were relatively easy to do, but did little to provide value. If it is difficult to increase the value of these items, they might never move to the upper right quadrant.
Don’t Do? (High Effort, Low Value): items that certainly flow to the bottom of the backlog and may be candidates to remove altogether