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Information Broker

Tool: Prioritising tasks and initiatives

Typical use (type of issue/project)

Provides a way to explore and identify initiatives that are likely to be the most significant and have the greatest leverage in reaching longer-term results.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself and your team.

Tips for effective use

In the table, on the left hand side, list the initiatives you want to prioritize or from which you must select. Then, rate the degree to which each initiative fits (high, medium or low) with respect to the six decision criteria at the top of each column.

Signals of successful use

Being able to clearly identify which tasks and initiatives are your priorities.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Spending too much time and effort on less urgent and rewarding tasks and projects.

Links to other tools

Connecting initiatives to business outcomes, Brainstorming, and SWOT.


Prioritising tasks and initiatives

Decision criteria

Initiatives Mission critical Congruent with key values Matches core competencies Fits with CSFs Degree of payoff Amount of cost/risk


  • Mission critical

How significant is the initiative with respect to the mission of your group or the organisation?

  • Congruent with key values

How fully does the initiative match the key values of your group or organisation?

  • Matches core competence

To what extent does the initiative fit with the core competence of your group or organisation?

  • Fits with critical success factors

How well does the initiative meet key success factors? (for example, clear need, adequate sponsorship, buy-in from stakeholders, visible feedback, and so on).

  • Degree of payoff

What is the potential payoff resulting from the initiative?

  • Amount of cost/risk

How much cost or risk is associated with the initiative?

One quick way to tally your results is to assign a number (3 = high, 2 = medium, 1 = low) for each ranking (make the number associated with cost/risk a negative number) and add them up. Look at the overall scores and assess where to focus your attention.