Task prioritization based on business value

The time is limited for every person. Per 1 hour the employee can do a limited amount of work which leads to a limited number of the produced value. And in most situations, the number of tasks is much bigger than available time. 

That leads us to the idea that we need to have a plan and prioritisation for task flow: which tasks should be executed during a particular time frame and what should be the order for these tasks. This prioritisation should be based on the idea of optimizing business value outcome over the consumed time.

However, PM or developers are always struggling about giving priorities for the different tasks due to timeline limit, because it’s not always clear enough which task is more valuable and why. The simple table below should help to solve this problem:

Here, you can see the types of tasks and the groups of people which the resolution of this task is affected. On the crossing of rows and columns, you are seeing the number of points which represent this task.

I.e. if solving the technical bug will bring happiness for 1 person, it will give us 5 points, or if the new business-related solution was required for 1 team, its 30 points.

If you have a basic ETA in hours for the task, you can easily calculate the priority grade for the task, multiplying the number of hours by the number of points in the table:

I.e. if solving the technical bug will bring happiness for 1 person which will take 10 hours to resolve will give us the value of 1×10 = 10, and if the implementation for the new business-related solution for 1 team will take 0.5 hours, that will give 30 x 0.5 = 15 points, etc..

The resulting order is based on a basic principle: the task should be ordered by its points – the less is the number of points, the higher priority this task should get. The particular bond could be different, but as an example, this one can be used: for 0-49 is the top priority, 50-500 is the average priority, and > 500 points tasks will get the low priority

Business idea for this gradation is to speed up the value outcome per hour. As the bigger amount of people which are requiring the resolution for this task, and the lower effort it takes to resolve it – the bigger is the priority for the task.

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