Prioritizing Opportunities

The Tool and Why It’s Valuable

Once a list of potential projects has been created, they must be objectively evaluated and prioritized. Prioritizing the number of projects being worked helps to ensure that the requisite management support and resources are available.

Lean Champions should work with Department leaders to develop decision criteria for the scoring that will be used to prioritize the opportunities or projects. And, each criterion must have an appropriate weighting since not all are equally important.

Examples of decision criteria are: aligns with the Department’s strategic goals (SPIs), supports the Governor’s initiative, can be implemented in 3 months or less, or will impact more than 1,000 customers.

How to Apply It

  1. Rate ideas by placing them in a 2x2 matrix: impact vs. effort of implementation. This helps separate quick-wins from larger efforts.
  2. Clarify the ideas in the high impact / low difficulty quadrant of the chart to ensure common understanding.
  3. If further evaluation is needed, use a decision scorecard to compare ideas in terms of the chosen criteria.
Pearls and Pitfalls
  • Failure to use objective criteria to prioritize projects will result in time spent on “pet projects” that may not have as great an impact as other projects.
  • Share the completed weighted priority matrix to create criteria should be used; more can make the process transparency and communicate decisions.
  • Create a portfolio of opportunities that address issues like speed, quality, customer satisfaction, etc. Don’t expect each effort to impact all measures. Ideally 4-6 process.
  • Being clear on the decision criteria will dramatically speed the scoring unwieldy. If all criteria are weighted the same, there won’t be a spread in the total scores.

Example Impact/Effort Matrix

Impact Effort Matrix.JPG

Example Important/Urgent Matrix

Important Urgent Matrix.JPG

Example Weighted Priority Matrix (Lean Projects)

Weighted Priority Matrix.JPG