Time and energy are finite resources and it’s important to use them effectively and efficiently. This requires having a good prioritization framework. In this post, I’ll share 3 frameworks that I have frequently used to prioritize.
1 Eisenhower Matrix. Urgent vs Important matrix
2 Cost Benefit Matrix.
A similar 2×2 matrix that is equally relevant and helps you identify if you delete (low benefit, high cost), defer (low benefit, low priority), plan (high priority, high cost) and do (high benefit, low cost).
3 Scoring Models or Weighted prioritization matrix:
If you want to make a decision to prioritize, you can list all factors and their weights to come back with a List. E.g. Choosing a restaurant:
Depending on the focus, you might also have a specific scoring model or framework. For e.g. In Product, RICE framework is pretty common that scores based on Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort:
I hope these frameworks are helpful for you to think through your priorities!
Few folks recently asked me on where do I allocate my team as a people manager of a double-digit (10+) analytics (data engineers, BI engineers, data science) team at Amazon. There are 5 buckets and the allocation varies week to week depending on priorities:
People management activities: This bucket includes tasks where you work backwards from keeping and growing the folks on your team. E.g. weekly 1:1’s, Team meetings, Career growth sync’s, Promotion process, etc.
Hiring & team building activities: This bucket includes tasks related to hiring new folks or backfilling existing roles on your team. This also includes tasks to continue to have a culture & structure on your team that other folks would love to be part of.
Partnerships and stakeholder management: This bucket include tasks to build partnerships and trust with teams that your team’s success depends on. This also includes proactively managing relationships and obsessing over the needs of our stakeholders by meeting them, being in org-level forums, etc.
Building & driving tech vision: This bucket includes a) forming a tech vision for your team that you can work backwards from b) putting mechanisms to drive towards that vision and empowering the team to be effective and efficient. This could take various forms but roadmap, annual planning, head-count planning, prioritization mechanisms, tech architecture reviews, etc. are part of this.
Strategic Initiatives: I always have some or the other strategic initiative going on. These are initiatives that will have a step-change improvement for company, org and the team.