Who Else Wants to Prioritize Items Quickly

Imagine that you have worked with a team in your company to complete a SWOT Analysis. Your team has defined four lists: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Each list has numerous items.

How can we prioritize lists quickly?

How can we reduce groupthink and ensure everyone has a voice in the process?

How can we make decisions stick?

Fortunately, there are some simple prioritization techniques designed for these purposes. These techniques are subjective but provide a quick way to prioritize any list.

1. Dot Voting. Participants are given a number of votes (sticky dots). For example, you might give 5 votes for 20 items or 10 votes for 40 items to each participant.

Participants may cast as many votes for a particular item as they desire.

Dot Voting - each participant cast their votes by placing sticky dots on their top choices.

Dot Voting – each participant cast their votes by placing sticky dots on their top choices.

Total votes. Order items from highest to lowest. Discuss and refine the results.

2. 10-4 Method. Each participant is given a total of 10 votes. Participants may cast 1 to 4 votes for a particular item.

Ask participants to write down their top choices and votes. Conduct a round robin and ask for each person’s choices and votes. Capture the results.

Total votes. Order items from highest to lowest. Discuss and refine the results.

3. 3-2-1 Method. Ask participants to write down their top three choices and values. Participants rank the items by assigning a value of 3 to their top choice, a value of 2 to the second highest choice, and a value of 1 to the third highest.

Conduct a round robin and ask for each person’s choices and values. Capture the results.

3-2-1 Method - participants select 3 choices and gives a value of 3 to their top choice, 2 to their next choice, and 1 the their last choice.

3-2-1 Method – participants select 3 choices and gives a value of 3 to their top choice, 2 to their second highest choice, and 1 to their third highest choice.

Total the values. Order items from highest to lowest. Discuss and refine the results.

These techniques have worked for me, and I think they will work for you too. Got a list of projects or requirements or strategies you need to prioritize? Give one of these techniques a try.

Question: What other techniques do you use to prioritize items quickly?