Prioritization processes ensure the organization focuses on the most important projects with its limited resources. This video teaches you the importance of asking questions about your prioritization process, including: How are priorities determined in the organization? Who sets them? Who manages them? Is there a prioritization process? How does it work and who runs it? How do new ideas get into that process? What kind of business case do you need to get something prioritized?
- [Instructor] Your organization's priorities will drive the work that gets done as well as the opportunities that you pursue. Some companies manage priorities with a formal process, others do so informally. If you want your projects approved, you need to know how to get them prioritized and put at the upper end of that list. How are priorities in your organization determined? Who sets them? Who manages that process? How do new ideas get into that process? What kind of business case do you need to get your project approved? I've seen both ends of the spectrum.
I worked with one organization that had a very formal prioritization process. There was a monthly meeting. Each team came into that meeting with their own prioritized list of projects. The projects needed a business case, so every project on the list had a document supporting the rationale for pursuing that initiative. That business case had to be approved by the department head before it even made it on the department's prioritization list. At the monthly meeting, all the different lists from all the departments were brought together.
It was determined for the entire division what the top priorities were. If I went in with my list, I had my five ideas on it, well, it may turn out that my number one idea may be third or fourth on the overall prioritization list. But by managing that process rigorously, we knew what initiatives were in the pipeline, and what it took to get them to the top of the list so they would be executed. I worked with another organization that had a much less formal process.
Each department had their own budget, and every project they wanted to do was self-funded out of their own budget. Priorities were set by the business unit head, and the prioritization responsibilities were often delegated out to individual teams or functional areas. Each team, in turn, had their own budget, but they could ask for more money if they had a bigger project that was outside of the scope of their existing budget. This prioritization process was much less formal.
Understand what your organization's process is. Learn the process, find out who runs it. Find a project that's in the pipeline. Go speak with the sponsor and ask them what it takes to get that idea on the list and, ultimately, executed. When you understand the prioritization process, from the initial recommendation through execution, you'll have a much better sense of how to take your ideas and make them happen.
- What business are you in?
- What's your market and who is your competition?
- What problem does your business solve?
- How are your products and services created? What are your pricing and growth strategies?
- How do you measure performance?
With the answers in hand, you can be assured your have the knowledge to make the best decisions for your business.