Weighted Scoring Model in Product Management: A Guide

Weighted Scoring Model in Product Management: A Guide cover

Wondering what the weighted scoring model is?

If so, we’ve got you covered. The articles:

  • Defines the weighted scoring model
  • Discusses its advantages and disadvantages
  • Shows how product and project managers can create their own model
  • Explains how to follow up on the results

Let’s get right into it!


  • The weighted scoring model is a prioritization technique that involves team members assigning a numerical value to product initiatives based on predefined criteria.
  • Product teams use the model to evaluate ideas, prioritize features, select tools, assess risks, or allocate resources, to name just a few.
  • In contrast to unweighted scoring, not all criteria are equally important. This is reflected in the weighting values. For example, one criterion can be worth 0.6 while another is only 0.4 of the total.
  • Weighted scoring allows a more nuanced and objective prioritization, and it fosters transparency and team alignment.
  • However, the scoring and weighting are still subject to bias, and the process doesn’t always reflect customer needs.
  • Start creating your weighted scoring model by listing all the options to evaluate.
  • Next, define the relevant criteria. These could come from your organization or you can use a ready framework like RICE or ICE.
  • Next, group criteria into positive and negative ones and assign weighting value to each of them. All the values for each category should total 1 (e.g., 0.2+0.6+0.2=1).
  • In the next step, score options according to the criteria and calculate the weighted score for each of them by multiplying the score by the weighting value (e.g. 0.2 x 10 = 2).
  • After that, calculate the overall score for each feature. The exact formula depends on the criteria, but generally, you divide the positive criteria scores by the negative criteria scores.
  • Finally, compare the scores and choose the features to include in the roadmap. Before you do so, however, validate them through user interviews, surveys, fake door tests, or prototype experiments.
  • Userpilot is a product growth platform that enables teams to collect feature requests, run surveys, and carry out experiments. Book the demo to find out more!

What is the weighted scoring model?

A weighted scoring model is a technique that enables product and project managers to make informed and objective prioritization decisions.

It’s based on the multiple-criteria decision-making mathematical model, and it involves assigning numerical values to features and initiatives based on predefined criteria, like value and effort.

We talk about weighted scoring when each of the criteria has a different value.

For example, in a cost-benefit analysis, an organization may consider the cost of development to be twice as important as the cost of its implementation. In this case, the first will be worth 0.66 while the latter – 0.33.

What is the difference between the unweighted and weighted scoring framework?

In both weighted and unweighted scoring models, teams assign values according to each of the criteria.

However, in the unweighted frameworks, each of the benefit and cost categories is worth the same. In the weighted scoring model, some of the categories are more important than others – they get more weight.

Let’s go back to the example above.

In the weighted model, we have a 66/33 ratio between the development cost and the implementation cost. In an unweighted model, these two would be equally important, so the ratio would be 1/1.

When to use the weighted scoring method in product and project management?

Product and project managers use the weighted scoring model to make important decisions.

This could be:

Overall, the weighted scoring model is preferred for complex and high-stakes decisions.

Benefits of the weighted scoring matrix

There are a number of pros of using a weighted scoring framework.

Here are a few important reasons to consider it:

  • Nuanced prioritization – weighting the criteria enables teams to make more nuanced decisions that truly reflect their product goals and organizational cultures.
  • Objective criteria – weighted scoring minimizes subjectivity and personal biases in the decision-making process.
  • Transparency – numerical values are easy to understand and can help you justify your decisions.
  • Flexibility – you can easily adapt the weighted scoring models to reflect the changes in the market or organizational priorities.
  • Cross-functional alignment – by involving the key stakeholders and members of other teams to select the criteria and weights, you build a shared understanding of your goals and priorities.

Drawbacks of the weighted scoring matrix

Despite its strengths, weighted scoring does come with a few downsides.

Here’s a breakdown of the main ones:

  • Subjective scoring – even if the criteria are clear, it’s not easy to assign specific values to score features or tasks objectively.
  • Lack of customer input – the weighted scoring model can be used to prioritize customer feedback, but users have little impact on which items you choose unless you tie some of the criteria to your customers.
  • Weighting – just like scoring, determining weights is challenging and you may unintentionally deprioritize important backlog items.

How to create a weighted scoring model?

Let’s imagine that you’re building a mobile health and wellness app and you’re currently working on a major update.

As a product manager, you need to prioritize the features to include in the update, so you decide to use the weighted scoring model.

Here’s how you apply the framework, step by step.

1. Identify and list down all possible options

The first step is identifying all the possible features you may want to include in the update.

This normally includes product and customer discovery to find customer needs, wants, and pain points.

Once you do this, it’s time to work out how you address the problems.

In this hypothetical scenario, your team has come up with 5 possible features:

  • Enhanced exercise tracker
  • Nutrition planner
  • Meditation guide
  • Sleep tracker
  • Community feature for user interaction

Some of these features have been requested by your current users.

2. Define criteria relevant to your decision

Once you have identified the features, it’s time to select prioritization criteria.

You can do it in two ways. One option is to use a ready prioritization framework like RICE, ICE, or Value vs. Effort. If you choose RICE, your criteria will be Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. If ICE, it would be Impact, Confidence, and Ease, and so on.

Alternatively, you can choose bespoke criteria reflecting your goals or values.

That’s what you decide to do in this scenario. Your criteria are

  • User demand
  • Market competitiveness
  • Potential for revenue generation
  • The development cost
  • Implementation complexity

3. Assign a numeric weighting value to each criterion

Having identified the scoring criteria, you now need to assign weighting values.

There are two things to remember here:

First, group the criteria in terms of their impact, either positive or negative.

Out of the 5 criteria you’ve identified, user demand, market competitiveness, and potential for revenue generation are all positive, and the development cost and implementation complexity are negative.

Second, the weighted values you allocate to features in each group should make up the total of 100%.

This is our allocation:

  • User demand (50%)
  • Market competitiveness (20%)
  • Potential for revenue generation (30%)

On the other side, you have:

  • Development cost (70%)
  • Implementation complexity (30%)

4. Score each option and calculate their weighted score

After assigning the weights to each of the criteria, you’re ready to score them.

Start by selecting a scale, for example, 1-5 or 1-10. In our case, you decide on the first.

Next, score each feature according to each criterion.

For example, these are the scores for the enhanced activity tracker feature:

  • User demand – 3
  • Market competitiveness – 5
  • Potential for revenue generation – 3
  • The development cost – 5
  • Implementation complexity – 4

Next, calculate the weighted scores.

  • User demand (3 x 50% = 1.5)
  • Market competitiveness (5 x 20% = 1)
  • Potential for revenue generation (3 x 30% = 0.9)
  • Development cost (5 x 70% = 3.5)
  • Implementation complexity (30% x 4= 1.2)

Pro tip: To make the scoring easier, use a spreadsheet to create a weighted scoring chart.

In the rows, list all the features, while in the columns – the criteria. Under each of the criteria, write the weighting value for easy reference and to automate the calculations later on.

A weighted scoring chart
A weighted scoring chart.

5. Sum up the total score for each option

To calculate the overall score for each feature, add the weighted scores for all the positive features and divide them by the sum of the weighted scores for all the negative ones.

So in the case of the enhanced exercise tracker, this is (1.5+1+0.9)/(3.5+1.2)=0.72

6. Compare the scores and make a decision

We’re nearly there. All you have to do now is compare the scores and use the data to make a decision on what goes into the update.

Here they are:

  • Enhanced exercise tracker – 0.72
  • Nutrition planner – 1.04
  • Meditation guide – 0.5
  • Sleep tracker – 1.69
  • Community feature – 3.36
Total weighted scoring for all features
Total weighted scoring results for all features.

You can see that the sleep tracker and the community feature have the highest scores, so that’s what you decide to develop.

Next steps: What should product teams do after analyzing weighted scores?

Nearly, there! All the features are prioritized so you only have a couple more things to do.

Carry out concept testing to validate ideas

Before starting to build the features, make sure to validate them through concept testing.

This basically means double-checking if users actually want the feature and are willing to pay for it. In this way, you avoid investing resources into functionality that nobody uses.

Useful validation techniques include:

In-app validation survey in Userpilot
In-app validation survey in Userpilot.

Create a product roadmap

If your validation research reveals that there is genuine demand for the functionality, add the feature to your roadmap. That’s assuming you already have a roadmap.

If not, there are a bunch of tools for creating them. These range from universal design solutions like Miro to dedicated road mapping and product management tools like Airfocus or Dragonboat.

It’s also a good idea to create a public roadmap to keep your customers in the loop.

A roadmap in Miro. Source: Miro
A roadmap in Miro.


A weighted scoring model is an effective tool for making informed and objective prioritization decisions.

However, developing your scoring matrix may be complicated to start with. To facilitate the process, it’s best to involve all product team members to ensure a shared understanding of the criteria and their importance.

If you want to see how Userpilot can help you collect feature requests, conduct surveys, and run fake door tests, book the demo!

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