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Prioritizing the Work

You will almost certainly not be able to jump in and begin executing everything at once; you’ll need to make choices about what you will do, when. There are all sorts of criteria you might consider in choosing which initiatives you want to prioritize, which ones you want to roll out slowly, and which ones you may want to put on the back burner, including things like potential impact, the resources available to you (people, time, energy/bandwidth), and overall buy-in.

A tool to help you sort goals and (later) initiatives is the Eisenhower matrix. Rather than quantifying the above criteria or using some complicated equation, the Eisenhower matrix simply distinguishes between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’: 

eisenhower matrix

Often conflated, ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ indicate different things and engender different kinds of work. ‘Urgent’ is that which is pressing, meaning it requires immediate action and puts a team into the reactive mode. ‘Important’ is that which is aligned with your purpose (values, mission, vision). It puts your team into the responsive (proactive) mode. Not all that is urgent is purposeful, and not all that is important requires haste.