All Articles Leadership How rigorous is your organization's prioritization process?

How rigorous is your organization’s prioritization process?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 150,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How rigorous is your organization’s prioritization process?

  • We do an OK job of prioritizing, 38%
  • We don’t prioritize well; we try to focus but aren’t always able to, 28%
  • We do a great job of regularly prioritizing work, 21%
  • We don’t prioritize at all. We pursue the closest or most exciting opportunity presented to us, 13%

Saying “no” matters. Your resources are limited and two of those critical resources are time and focus. If you’re not being rigorous in prioritizing your projects, your focus is diluted and it impacts the quality of your work. Invest the time once or twice a month to stack rank all your projects, prioritize and draw the line below which you’re not going to work on. As projects above the line are completed or de-prioritized you can work on things below the line. Your execution will improve and your project success rate will increase. For the 21% who are rigorous in prioritization, just be cautious that you don’t become inflexible and that new high-priority projects have an opportunity to enter the work queue.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”