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  • Writer's pictureShawn Lovett

What is Priority #1?

Starting at a new company as the IT leader, I would get complaints that IT projects were never completed.


I worked with the business to create a list of all projects, and had the business prioritize the list.


It looked something like this:


Priority   Project

 1            Install new system XYZ

 1            Create new report showing shipment lap time

 1            Integrate data feed to robot QNX

 1            Fix slowness issue with barcode system

 1            Install TV monitor in factory to show KPI's


I asked, "So which is priority #1?".


Response: "They are all priority #1!"


The problem with everything being priority #1 is that nothing is top priority.  My IT team and I can choose what we work on based on interest, difficulty, a chance to work with new technologies, or the "shiniest" project. We will attempt to move all projects along since they are all important, but may not focus the effort on getting a project accross the finish line. 


Let's say I work with the business and they update their priorities: 


Priority   Project

 4            Install new system XYZ

 1            Create new report showing shipment lap time

 3            Integrate data feed to robot QNX

 2            Fix slowness issue with barcode system

 5            Install TV monitor in factory to show KPI's


Now I know exactly what is most important to the business, and can address the projects by priority. Each time we complete a project our list shrinks, and the #2 priority becomes #1 and so forth.


This sounds simple and can be, but as the business I want to know that my priority #5 will get done, and not fall off the radar. If it becomes more critical I move it up the list; less critical I move it down. But I know the order in which the IT team will attack these and complete these, so my project will get done. 


If your business is struggling trying to do everything at once and getting nothing done, reach out to me for a quick conversation. Making the hard decisions now to set priorities will make a huge difference in what your business will be able to accomplish in the future. 




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