Task Prioritization

Every day, you are making decisions about how you, and your team, spend your time. I’ve found the generation of new ideas outpace the ability to implement them, so the list only gets longer each day. There are so many different tasks or initiatives that you could be working on, so the most important question becomes what you should be working on. Alas, we never have the time to do everything at once.

So how can you answer that question? With data of course! This week, I’ll talk about my preferred approach to solving this problem – by creating a scoring system. Each possible task is scored based on the most important factors that you think should be considered when weighing the benefit of undertaking it. Using a formula, you can create a single number that can be used to compare and prioritize every task.

For example, the key factors I like to focus on are:[1]

  • Reach: How many customers will this influence?
  • Value: How much money or avoided lost money will this generate?
  • Effort: How difficult is this to accomplish?
  • Confidence: How confident am I in my estimates?

This week, I’ll talk about each of these factors and how to put them together to create a scoring system. Specifically, I’ll cover:

Tomorrow, I’ll get started by covering the first two factors, Reach and Value.

[1] This is an adaptation of the approach Intercom uses for its prioritization. The main differences in my approach is that I use the term “value” instead of “impact” to tie back to more directly to the financial impact of a task. Also, I scale the value of each factor differently.