Priority Sliders

Facilitate conversations about relative priorities to focus upcoming activities
Contributed by

Tim Beattie

Val Yonchev

Edited by
Published September 09, 2018

What Is Priority Sliders?

  • A tool that facilitates conversations about relative priorities and focuses upcoming activities.

  • A finite set of topics/dimensions/areas that can be relatively prioritised against each other.

  • A slider for each dimension where groups of people collaborative slide the relative importance to the right (more important) or left (less important).

  • A practice that increases the autonomy of teams (see decision making below)

Whiteboard with words such as "user experience" and "security". Next to each word, there is a sticky note with a number. (

Why Do Priority Sliders?

  • Enables an alignment and consensus on areas of focus.

  • Provides clarifications across stakeholder groups of motivations and desires.

  • Can be used as a filtering mechanism for later prioritisation (of, for example, product backlog items).

  • Can be used for decision-making: the alternatives/options of specific decisions (features or product decisions in particular) can be evaluated in the context of each priority starting from the highest ranking priority. If all alternatives score the same on that highest priority aspect, the next in line is used. This provides an objective discriminating factor and allows the team to take a decision on their own using the Priority Sliders as a decision principle.

How to do Priority Sliders?


  1. Choose the metrics for each slider

Examples include:

  • Functional completeness
  • Test completeness
  • Product-market fit
  • User experience
  • Performance
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Learning
  1. Introduce the sliders and explain them to the participants

  2. Have everyone write down the number of each slider as to where they would place it on the scale (~5 min). Do this on individual sticky notes and don't let the team members share until later - this keeps bias to a minimum. Once time is up, have everyone put their stickies up on the scale for each slider

  3. Review each slider individually as a team, having a discussion about alignment. Drive toward an agree-upon spot on the scale and annotate that with a different color sticky. (~20 min)

Look at Priority Sliders

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Priority Sliders practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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