## How to Prioritize Business Initiatives

written by: SP Singh • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 9/8/2014

How do you prioritize your initiatives or projects? Use this scientific method for a better result.

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Businesses constantly struggle to prioritize between multiple initiatives. Investment in the right initiative can take a business to the next level. However, bad decisions could prove fatal.

It often takes expert judgement to prioritize between initiatives. If initiatives and opportunities seem to be equally good, decision-makers often go with a gut instinct.

I think there is better and more scientific way to prioritize. It will help you to evaluate each initiative from perspectives that are important to you. You can work it out individually or by consulting wider group(s).

This process may also help project leaders or managers to proritize individual projects or tasks within a project in order to meet their goals and objectives.

1. Prepare list of projects/initiatives: Prepare a list of initiatives that you want to prioritize:

2. Identify categories that are important to you: Based on your business strategy, vision, values, and mission, identify important categories against which you want to evaluate each initiative. Here are some examples for you:

3. Assign weights (1-5) according to importance of each category: The higher the importance, the higher should be the weight.

4. Assign scores for each initiative under each category: Scores should be between 1 to 10. 1 being lowest and 10 being highest. You can consult with other colleagues about scores. Then take mean score for each category and enter scores in an Excel as:

5. Find the weighted score: Add formula in MS Excel to multiply score for each category with assigned weight (which you have already decided in step 3). Here is an example for you:

6. Ask your technical team to estimate on each initiative: Enter information in table as shown:

7. Plot Estimates with Weighted score (Value): Divide graph in four sections as below:

• Projects in quadrant 1 are high value, low cost
• Projects in quadrant 2 are high value, high cost
• Projects in quadrant 3 are low value, high cost
• Projects in quadrant 4 are low value, low cost
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This is an exercise I use every time I have to make a decision about prorities. I hope it proves helpful to you!

How do you prioritize your initiatives currently? Would you consider using this method? How we can further improve this method?