How does lack of prioritization impact a transformation initiative’s success?

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Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
Business transformations are driven by several strategic initiatives tied to business outcomes, which in turn break down into numerous tasks that require complex sequencing and orchestration in order to be successful. Many of these tasks are added to the organization’s backlog and assigned to the team that is also focused on revenue-generating features and existing applications. They are both equally urgent to the organization and in several cases, tasks from both these value streams contend for priority. The result is that teams are expected to multitask or do task switching to achieve progress; however, this results in a drop in productivity. The additional overhead of task management and context switching turns this into a sub-optimal approach. 

The approaches I’d recommend instead are:

1. Acknowledge transformational tasks as legitimate and value-generative backlog items. 

2. Weight transformational tasks based on the sense of urgency, the strategic impact of the business outcome that the task is driving, and the complexity of the task.

3. Prioritize the backlog. 

4. Reduce the velocity of development by a fixed amount through negotiation with business owners.

5. Reduce waste of task switching where possible.
VP of IT in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Lack of prioritization in any project can and will hinder success.  The lack of buy-in from the executive staff, as well as the business, is a sign that prioritization is an issue.  Without prioritization, you will not receive the support or resources need to ensure a successful transformation.  An established project team, leader, and sponsor will help ensure that priorities are well defined and kept.  We are all busy and stressed when it comes to juggling multiple projects and responsibilities at work which causes us to narrow our focus to tasks for the moment.  Without the checks and balances and a leader that is “all in” more times than not you will receive less than stellar outcomes in any project whether it be a small one or a full transformative initiative.  
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Lack of prioritization fuels confusion which in turn fuels progress paralysis
VP IT (CIO role) in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
agreed prioritization is essential to get business buy in and resource commitments. so a lack of prioritization will lead to substantial delays and/or failure to deliver results.
Chief Information Technology Officer in IT Services, 201 - 500 employees
In transformation, the absence of prioritization does not allow you to focus on the right things. human talent material financial resources are divided and it is difficult to visualize their success and therefore important to prioritize things to know your abilities well in order to succeed in transformations and to be able to measure them.
Chief Technology Officer in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
When everything becomes a priority, we all know the outcome of those transformation initiatives.  Though a Steering committee sounds a bit bureaucratic in a transformation initiative, it is a necessary evil.  Without such discipline, initiatives get into a chaotic state where sub-teams within a larger team may drive in different directions. Well-understood and agreed-upon guiding principles are important to establish in the early stage of the transformation program. More importantly, the execution must adhere to the guiding principles. 
CIO in Healthcare and Biotech, 51 - 200 employees
Prioritization is crucial to achieving business outcomes. Transformation initiatives are about the results, the outcomes of those initiatives, and the impacts of poor or lack of prioritization can cause delays or even create levels of apathy within the transformation teams. They can also cause disorganization and rework if there is no commitment to the most critical pieces in the order that will make them all possible.
HEAD IT in Consumer Goods, 501 - 1,000 employees
Prioritization is the foundation for successful transformation. It's where we need to align the organization's objective with trasformation strategy. Prioritization of transformation projects and priorities must be aligned with executive sponsorship and got full support. This sponsorship and agreed-on prioritization are key to successful transformations.

Poor prioritization leads to failure and, ultimately, missed business goals. Done well, a good transformation project prioritization process will allow you to strategically align your resource allocation decisions while delivering more successful projects.

CIO in Software, 51 - 200 employees
Every one needs to understand that there is a finite budget to do anything new in organization let alone be transformation. Part of the problem lies with selling transformation timelines and benefits. In my view a good CFO plays a great role and I have seen lot of mature organizations where CTO, CIO, CDO and all responsible for transformations roll up to CFO. CFO typically is best person suited in organization to tell what prioritizes over what ..for benefits least in short term. For larger and long term benefits (anything beyond 5 years) is something a CEO outlook and frankly they are exceptions when it comes to transformation. If it takes more than 5 years to reap benefit in this VUCA world, it better be worth it. Lack of this discipline in organization puts transformations in jeopardy where you need miracles (and sometimes it happens) to put everything that is put in your plate
Director - IT, Enterprise Services and Value Management in Software, 10,001+ employees
Question can be interpreted in two ways. One, if transformation does not have an assigned priority, yet it is not shelved, it us time to rethink. It clearly does not have the support and attention. Two, among multiple transformation, the need for priority comes when there are competing needs, like budget or human resources. In such case, it is important to have the assigned priority in line with business justification and ROI, else none of these will progress as expected resulting into delays, unmet business needs and most importantly, loss of face. 

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