Prioritize Your Priorities

It feels like you’ve got a thousand projects on the go and everything is a triple-A-one priority. Sound familiar? So how do you prioritize all those priorities?

Answer: Rate each project against a set of criteria. The few projects that best meet your criteria become the true priorities. Here are examples of criteria:

  • Resource requirements
  • Availability of resources
  • Time to complete
  • Probability of success
  • Organizational trauma
  • Return-on-investment
  • Payback timeline
  • Strategic Impact

First, decide which criteria are most relevant for your situation. Next, using a 5-point scale for each criterion, rate every project. For example, a project with no real strategic impact would receive a ‘1’ while a project with a very high strategic impact would receive a ‘5’. If some criteria are more important than others, then you might weight them (e.g., return-on-investment could get twice the points of resource requirements).

Once you’ve completed the set of ratings for each project, see what the numbers tell you. Finally, do they pass the ‘gut-test?’ Do those projects that stand out seem like the top priorities?

Everything can’t be a triple-A-one priority. Prioritize those priorities.

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