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Prioritization is your strategy


A project manager complains that others working on the project have poor judgment and are not prioritizing tasks strategically. Management explains that tasks aren't being completed because the project manager isn't yelling as loud as other product managers in the company. In this case the method for prioritization is: "I do what needs done, so I don't get yelled at." What becomes important in making decisions is a person's emotional security and their strategy is rooted in avoidance. 


A huge portion of business strategy is prioritizing what gets done based on importance. Ideally, you have a consistent and scalable strategy that can be understood and implemented by all. If it is not systematically clear how to rank importance, you cannot expect consistency from team members or even an individual. There are many ways to decide what is most important. Is it the project that brings in the most revenue? Is the project for the most influencial client? Or maybe it's the project that has the highest marketing potential. In other cases, it could be the project for the project manager who brought bagels. 


Have you ever been told that you are not prioritizing correctly? Have you ever been told that you need to get loud or aggressive in order to get things done? In either case, the problem is much bigger than it appears. It’s a culture problem. What is the cost to productivity when prioritization is unclear? What is the cost in man hours to fix communication errors and straighten things out? 

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