It’s been almost a year since I started building Chopstix with the hope that I can help teams collaborate on prioritizing their work. Today I’m as excited as I am nervous to launch Chopstix.
A few years ago I worked for a tech startup called Flashfood that helped connect people with food that was nearing its expiry date. As a startup, the customer feedback and data necessary to prioritize your development tasks is rather non-existent. As a team, we began using the RICE model to prioritize the features that we dreamed of incorporating. For those who aren’t familiar, RICE is a scoring mechanism that evaluates a feature or task against its Reach (how many customers), Impact (the relative value the user will get), Confidence (how confident you are in your assessment) and the Effort (how long it will take to build). The first time we tried this turned into a painstaking and lengthy meeting as we were trying to agree upon each of these values, and while over time we became more effective in our process, there was still a level of uncertainty about how effective this process was.
This got me thinking. What if there was a tool that allowed us to do this as a team? After spending a few company hours searching the web, I found that there wasn’t. So I approached some of my friends in the product field and it became clear that we weren’t the only ones using this framework. Thus Chopstix was born.
After working for a few other companies as an intern, I noticed some things. Teams were becoming more autonomous and instead of taking direction from someone higher up the chain, they were making decisions on their own. Teams were collaborating on estimations, infrastructure design and new product ideas - so why not on priority?
As I started building this product, there were a few other added benefits that I thought this product could bring. Using Chopstix as a first pass, you could spark conversation among the team to discuss why different tasks should get prioritized first. Also, you remove the bias from the loudest person in the room who is less timid in sharing their opinion. Further, you can spend less time in meetings when trying to figure out exactly what you should be working on. And while I love a meeting to break up the day as much as the next guy, the bottom line here is that every company can benefit from more time getting to the real work.
If you google RICE prioritization, you’ll find a great article by Intercom and a number of other sites which can help you decide if this framework is right for you.
I look forward to hearing your feedback, feature ideas and anything else you think would help improve the product!