How Do You Manage Multiple Priorities? Six Suggestions

Situation: A company has developed a number of initiatives and priorities which are important to the success of the company. All of the initiatives are daunting.  What do they need to do to get all of these accomplished? How do you manage multiple priorities?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Start with corporate level objectives and set these independently from your initiatives. Pick your top corporate goals and objectives – financial, performance, and so on. Once this is in place, rate your initiatives in terms of how they help to meet your company objectives.
  • Create an initiative list. Measure the upside and risk for each initiative. Based on the results of your analysis classify each initiative: critical, important, or nice to have. This, plus alignment between initiatives your corporate objectives will indicate which initiatives are most critical to company success.
  • Every company needs long and short term goals. Use these to align and prioritize initiatives. Only and your team you can tell what is important and importance is a matter of your strategic focus and objectives.
  • They key to accomplishing multiple objectives is focus. Focus on your top 2-3 initiatives first – if you can reasonably handle this many. Once these are accomplished, focus on the next 2-3, and so forth.
  • Look at your competitors – where are the opportunities in the marketplace. How will your initiatives make you more competitive?
  • What does your leadership development plan look like? If you plan to add new leadership, include in your thinking a transition plan to new leadership, taking into account your multi-year timeline.

2 thoughts on “How Do You Manage Multiple Priorities? Six Suggestions

  1. Gene Tange

    Nice articulate to a real world challenge. A missing element is you must have an execution plan to achieve multiple goals. Focus was realistic at one time but the business environment has forced a different view. The limit of goals is dependent on variables of execution. At Google they can handle more goals concurrently because they have master many of the variables, in a different company they may have a limit of 3. The key is not the number of goals but your ability to achieve success with the resource pool you have or need.

  2. Sandy McMahon

    Excellent point, Gene. Thanks for adding this. Without a plan, objectives, milestones, timelines and accountability none of the goals are likely to be met. Your last comment is excellent – matching goals to resources available.

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