Perfectly Prioritize the tasks:- Time is a scarce resource, which is why project management is essential to know how to prioritize. But what does “prioritize” mean? Here we gives an excellent definition: the verb prioritizes refers to the action by which various stages of the realization of a project or a task will be classified in order of importance, in order to deal with the most urgent first.
For the success of your project, it is therefore essential that you be able to determine the tasks to be carried out as a priority. So you avoid wasting time, energy and resources on minor tasks that can be dealt with later.
How to Prioritize your tasks
Problems? How do you decide which task is the most important to achieve at this time? Is this the most urgent task? The one your superior asked you to perform? Or the one that brings in the most money?
Without a minimum of method, you will go from one task to another without consistency, which is obviously not the best way to manage a project.
It is therefore essential to differentiate between what is urgent and what is important. Keep in mind that an important task is not necessarily urgent, and that an urgent task may not be important, but may be necessary for other actions.
To help you prioritize the different tasks of your project, discover these 2 methods.
The Eisenhower Matrix
“What is important is rarely urgent and what is urgently rarely important.” Dwight David Eisenhower.
As the name suggests, this matrix was invented by Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34 the President of the United States. The Eisenhower Matrix has been developed to help people prioritize their tasks and make them more productive. It is an analytical tool that allows classifying the tasks to be carried out according to their importance and their urgency.
The Eisenhower matrix consists of 2 axes: importance and urgency.
There are thus 4 boxes in which to classify the different tasks:
- Those which are important and urgent;
- Those which are non-important and urgent;
- Those which are important and non-urgent;
- Those which are non-important and non-urgent.
The importance of a task is determined by its impact on achieving your goals and the added value it brings to your project. Thus, carrying out the important tasks allows you to progress to accomplish the objectives of your project.
The urgency of a task is based on its due date and the time it takes to complete it.
With the Eisenhower matrix, priority is given to the importance of urgency:
- The important and urgent tasks are those that you must carry out immediately;
- Important but non-urgent tasks need to be addressed quickly;
- Non-important but urgent tasks should be delegated;
- Non-important and non-urgent tasks are unnecessary and should be discontinued.
Remember that importance is a choice while urgency is a fact related to time. For some, it can be difficult and time-consuming to separate the important from the non-important at first. But once you know how to proceed, you will find that this matrix is a real asset that will help you be more efficient and productive.
If you are looking for support for the Eisenhower matrix, there are many software and applications including the official Eisenhower application online or for your smart phone.
The Moscow Method
This method is mainly used for projects managed with the agile method. It makes it possible to prioritize the tasks of a project according to their critical, that is to say the level of impact of the task on the implementation of the project.
The letters of the acronym Moscow mean:
- M for Must have: what is essential otherwise the project is a failure.
- S for should have: what needs to be done whenever possible. These tasks are important but not vital.
- C for could have: this can be done if this does not affect other important tasks. These are comfort tasks that can be performed if you have enough time and that the tasks of the two previous categories have been carried out.
- W for will not have but would like: what will not be done this time but later. Carrying out these tasks is a luxury that you cannot pay yourself immediately. So it’s your area of budget optimization. If you exceed the budget in the other three categories, you will have to move tasks in this category to rebalance your budget.
In this acronym, the “o” has no meaning; they have only been added to make the acronym pronounceable and memorable.
In the agile method, the project is divided by iteration, that is to say divided into several parts. The Moscow method is applied by iteration, not the entire project. This means redefining task prioritization at each iteration.
Because time is a rare and valuable resource that is not extensible and cannot be replenished, you must make choices and prioritize your tasks. Prioritization enables you to achieve your ultimate goal (the success of your project) by being productive and thus minimizing the time, money and resources used. Differentiate the importance of the emergency, and concentrate only on the important tasks that allow the accomplishment of your project. This is the key to success!