How to…prioritise stuff

Sue Willcock Food for Thought

I’ve used this matrix countless times to help me, my teams and clients focus on what really matters.
As an example, you could use this:

  • To clear your mind of ‘noise’ and explore what should be a focus for you/your business/your team/project
  • In a brainstorming session to re-prioritise activity if business direction has recently changed.
  • With a team, to agree what’s important and what’s not (just doing the exercise creates really valuable discussion).
  • To help manage external stakeholders and gain their support on your way forward.

How to use it:
Simply map your business activities onto a matrix, in accordance with their value to the business and their ease of implementation (or cost – high/low – if this is more important) to understand which activities should be a focus.  You can undertake this activity alone, or as a group activity to help get agreement to a plan and a shared understanding  of why and where focus should be (e.g. using paper and post it notes on the wall so everyone can see it).
You might find yourself plotting things in the middle areas – that’s fine – The key is to identify the things that are easy or low cost that add the most value, or to make informed decisions about the things that may be difficult/expensive but add high value too (e.g. can they be broken down into chunks or work or sub-projects?).  And of course, not do the things that add little or no value…!

Value to your business

   

Low

High

Ease of implementation (or you might use cost – seee note above)

Easy

  •   Insert your activities here
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx

 

  •   Insert your activities here
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx
  • DO THIS STUFF FIRST. 

 

Difficult

  •   Insert your activities here
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx

 

  •   Insert your activities here
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx
  •   Xxx