2.1k views1 Upvote10 Comments

CIO in Telecommunication, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I take a multifaceted approach to prioritization. On the one hand you need to balance what's important versus urgent. When you have an urgent situation, sometimes the important things have to be set aside for the moment. But you also can't let the urgent overwhelm the important, otherwise you won't achieve your organization's goals. 

From the important side, you have to look at what the business's goals are, how your team is supporting those goals, what projects and deliverables you have, and how you’re moving along with your strategic plan and roadmap to execute on those. Compare that with how much of your time is spent on emergencies and day-to-day support or maintenance tasks. You also need to balance the quick wins with longer term deliverables on your roadmap, so look for any low-hanging fruit — what are the easy wins that you could knock out quickly? Even if folks are not using agile specifically, they've at least taken the philosophy to heart and most IT people aren't looking at doing one-, two- or three-year projects. We're all trying to shorten the time frame for delivering business results today that, over time, ultimately fulfill long-term business objectives. 

Prioritization is about time management, so you need to evaluate what's easy versus difficult. What can you do quickly? What takes longer? It can also be helpful to look at the rest of the business, because most of your IT roadmap isn't about delivering new IT systems. It's all about implementing new services for finance, manufacturing, operations, sales, etc., so what does the availability of that function look like? What does their team look like? That’s an important consideration because you have to balance priorities against resource availability. Then there’s the whole financial picture: What can you get funding for? How is that impacting cash flow, your budget and the resources on your team? You have to look at it from at least four or five different angles, and you're constantly reevaluating. I keep looking at what's changed in the business, whether that's related to people, funding, or my own internal bandwidth. I’ll reconsider the decision I made a month ago or the path we're on, and figure out if it needs to be changed or altered because of new challenges that have come up in the business.
Director of Technology and Library Services in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Prioritization can be extremely challenging when you are also trying to prioritize the needs of others and manage expectations. It is also challenging to prioritize in an environment where it feels like everything in the moment take priority over other things. That said, if everything is urgent, then nothing is.

As a leader in my organization, in addition to prioritizing things, I have to balance whether something needs to be completed by me or by someone on my team. I also have to be ready to set expectations on completion for that person, as well as guide them through prioritization.

For projects and tasks that are mine to lead and complete, I have to consider them in the broader scope. In order to sufficiently set prioritization, I need to define why something is being done, as well as who the audience is and what the end result should be. The answers to these questions dictates the order of prioritization for “the thing.”

I’ve found that sometimes, answering the questions above around prioritization comes as second nature. Other times, the questions are more complex and lead to more questions.

I also find guidance in the Eisenhower priority matrix, which is easily found by Googling that. It provides a graphical representation of the basic system of prioritization.

In the end, prioritization is a skill that must forever be practiced and refined.
Managing Director in Manufacturing, 51 - 200 employees
First we never stop trying to improve our process to achieve prioritization. 

We approach this by looking at the value we are creating for the customer or business. We use an adapted version of the scaled agile framework to look at the reach, impact, confidence and effort (RICE Score) of each individual item. As a cross functional and department team we create a agreed RICE score, then this same team looks at the results of this exercise. Typically the results are obvious as what should be done when and etc. 

We do, analyze, then improve on our way! Hope this helps! 
Data Scientist in Consumer Goods, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
My approach to prioritization is based on what can lead to the most success given the requirements. We would have to take a mult-step approach
1-re-visit available resources (man power needed to implement..etc)
2-find goals that aligns with the company
3-filter the goals based on expected return (short term vs long term)
CIO in Manufacturing, 501 - 1,000 employees
It is about being in tune with business needs.  I make sure to revisit the business needs regularly and adjust the priority of resources.   With this of course is the need to finish projects you have started.
Director of IT in Manufacturing, 51 - 200 employees
As to prioritization, there are lots of great things that have been said on the topic, but it all comes down to our own personal style and ho we cope with problems. My two favorite rules are if a task is both urgent and important then get it done. Next is the "eat the frog" mentality that if it's something you hate doing then do it first. Everything gets easier from there.
Director of Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
1. Take the quick wins if able.
2. Figure out the bigger picture items and see what the plan of action is.
3. Align next steps with strategic plans.
HEAD IT in Consumer Goods, 501 - 1,000 employees
In today's age is really a bit difficult task to prioritize all work. Urgent vs important is really difficult to identify and act accordingly.
Prioritization is determining the level of importance and urgency of a task, thing or event. It’s a key skill for any working professional and is absolutely essential for project managers to master. Intelligent prioritization is a vital part of Planning to align people, priorities and projects.

One of the biggest challenges for project managers and team leaders is accurately prioritizing the work that matters on a daily basis. Even if you have the best project management software, you’re the one who enters information into the tool. And, you don’t want to fall into the role of crying “top priority” for every other project that comes down the pike.

Just as you have to be diligent and have the right kind of project insight to ensure that nobody’s working on yesterday’s priorities, it takes a lot of practice and time management to get this right.

When there are a lot of moving parts in projects need a detailed analysis of job and resources planning to make a prioritization plan. 
Chief Technology Officer in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
There are lots of ways to do prioritisation.  They are all biased which is somewhat unavoidable.  WSJF is one approach that at least allows you to be a bit explicit in the biases you are aware of.
Vice President of Software Development in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
To a fair extent, business drives the priority. We should look into the items with huge impact but less effort if that is possible. The approach can be faster, better, and cheaper. There are always exceptions. Yet times non-functional items take priority as they become foundational to scale and operate post-go-live. Always index on doing things right while doing the right things. This might seem to slow down, but actually, it will not. 

Content you might like




It depends (please comment below!)2%



CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
Read More Comments
43.5k views132 Upvotes319 Comments