When confronted with a large list of issues, often the best place to start is with a quick identification of the 5 or 6 issues that pose the biggest threat to the organization, group, or team. Generally, even with a diverse group of people involved, these issues will be easy to recognize and agree on – after all, they are usually causing the biggest headache. If consensus does not happen, there is a practical way to determine importance. Consider the following questions:
How serious is the current impact on people, safety, cost, productivity, customers, reputation, etc.?
How urgent is it to keep the concern from becoming difficult, expensive, or impossible to resolve?
What evidence is there that the seriousness will grow?
What will happen if we do nothing?
The answers to one or more of these questions will give you the information you need to judge which of the issues you are considering is relatively more important than the others. It is the lack of this relativity that often causes issues in managing the workload. Often, issues come in and are considered in isolation, but prioritizing issues without having anything to measure against leads to the situation where we are simply working on the wrong things. Continue reading...
Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making (PSDM) is a proven, step-by-step process for successfully solving problems, making good decisions, prioritizing issues, and analyzing potential risks and opportunities. For almost 60 years, these skills have equiped learners with the foundation of effective critical thinking.