Collaborative Prioritization

Collaborative Prioritization


Perhaps this describes your world: You’re looking at $150M worth of proposals for great projects that could revolutionize the services you are offering. That’s exciting! But you have only $15M worth of budget available to invest. That’s a challenge.

At CT Labs, we believe we’ve found the solution.

We call it “Collaborative Prioritization.” And it works. AND we can do it with stoplight screens – which somehow makes it even better – or at least, more fun.

The problem:

Since time immemorial, there has been too much to do, and not enough time, money, people, whatever, to do it in. So, for time immemorial, people have had to choose which things to do, and which things NOT to do. And then, starting about five minutes after decisions were made, the following conversations ensued:

  • Why didn’t you fund MY project?
  • What’s so special about HER/HIS/THEIR project?
  • I’m going to talk to your boss and get MY project funded – this is ridiculous!

And so it began – and so it continued. Until Collaborative Prioritization (cue exciting music!).

How is Collaborative Prioritization different?

Most of the time, one person, or a select set of people, usually senior executives, do the prioritization. And when the decision-making process gets ugly and the senior cadre can’t agree, the leader has to decide. That’s an outcome that almost necessarily causes rifts, and creates a non-collaborative environment.

At CT Labs, we have developed a process and accompanying (sweet!) toolsets that enable senior leaders to engage collaboratively with their executive team, and then further out into the front-line subject matter experts of their organization – AND invite in their partners and clients and other key stakeholders. Everyone who needs to be can be a part of the conversation, and a part of the decision-making process.

Sounds cumbersome? Sounds like it must take months? Well – we won’t lie to you – it’s exhausting. But the actual prioritization process takes a day. Eight hours. We’ve had teams of 35 people assess and prioritize upwards of 80 projects in the course of a single day. Effectively. Realistically. Comprehensively.

And when the day is over, the work is done. Like – really done. Done til next year. Or til your next Strategic Plan. And here’s the bonus – everyone you engaged, and brought into the room, and gave a voice? They will all support you – and the hard choices you’ve made. What’s that worth in peace of mind, and organizational focus?

How does it work?

Well…we could tell you, but then we’d have to shoot you…or hire you onto the team. But it works. It’s worked in a diversity of environments, and it works with a diversity of measurement criteria.

In an era that demands transparency and accountability both in decisions AND approach, Collaborative Prioritization offers defensible, comprehensive criteria, weights and measures that are optimized for your environment, for the needs and pressures of today – and tomorrow. We codify assumptions and judgments, ensuring openness and defensibility – in the eyes of partners, clients, and even a provincial Auditor General.

  • Prioritizing investments on innovations to maximize ROI? We’ve done that.
  • Prioritizing projects to align with TBS requirements? Yup.
  • Prioritizing strategic opportunities to expand the services set you offer? Yeah. Done that too.

Our recommendation? Invite us in for a chat. We can explain how we mesh in with your current operating environment, the work we do with your team to prepare, and the ways in which we work with you and your team over a relatively short, light-touch timeframe to get from a bun-fight to a prioritized list that everyone understands – and supports.

And yeah…we’ll bring the stoplights.

What clients say…

“ I feel comfortable reporting these recommendations back to my colleagues. I felt that I was allowed to offer input – and that my points were made, and listened to.”

“This process brings credibility to the recommendations.”

“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to bring everyone together to work collaboratively – thank you all for contributing and challenging freely throughout the day – it made for the exactly the result we were hoping for.”

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