Mountain Goat Software is delighted to be able to give users a choice of free agile tools that they can use to help with their agile and Scrum projects. One of these free agile tools is the theme screening tool.
Theme screening is a useful and easy prioritization technique that can be used to prioritize themes and/or epics against one another. It can also be used to prioritize entire projects or products.
To use theme screening, first identify the factors that will be important to you in prioritizing among the themes (or epics, projects, etc.). For example, importance to existing customers and generation of Q2 revenue could be factors. Enter these selection criteria as rows in the worksheet using the "Add Criteria" link and deleting any unneeded rows with the red X symbols.
After identifying your selection criteria, select a baseline theme. The baseline theme is one that is likely but not guaranteed to be included in the upcoming release. All other themes will be compared to the baseline theme for each selection criteria. You want to select a baseline likely but not guaranteed to be included so that these comparisons are informative. If, for example, you picked the most important theme as your baseline and then compared all others to it, you would find that each of those themes was less important. But you would not be able to very meaningfully distinguish how much less important.
Once you have entered your selection criteria and a name for each theme to be considered, compare each theme to the baseline theme for each criteria. If the theme being considered is better than the baseline for a given criterion, give it a + symbol by clicking in the cell showing the intersection of the theme and that selection criterion. If the theme is worse at that criterion, click on the cell until the - (minus sing) appears. A 0 in the cell indicates that the theme is equivalent to the baseline for that selection criterion.
Data may be exported from the theme screening tool using the Export Data button. Copy the data that is displayed into a text file saved with a .CSV extension. It can then be imported into a spreadsheet program for further analysis.