Juggling priorities? Consider 5 perspectives.
Revised version of the post first published in July 2014.
Competing priorities is a tough challenge for most organizations.
“Competing priorities” has been at the top of the list of “obstacles that hold us back” for several years in my annual studies. How to get around it? A digital workplace has 5 types of stakeholders, each with a unique perspective complementary to the others. Taking the time to investigate these 5 perspectives will help you see more clearly and formulate priority statements founded on evidence.
The 5 perspectives:
- People as individuals (throughout the workforce)
- Business, operational and customer-facing workforces
- Enterprise/group communities and shared services
- External customers (or users / citizens) served by the organization
You need input from all 5 groups. Without this, your view will be partial.
You may think you already know what is needed, but I guarantee that if you consult with all 5 of these groups, you will have some surprises – some good, some not so good. However, consulting with them is not sufficient. They must be involved beyond discovery, in the thinking and prioritizing phases as well – to some extent.
Setting priorities based on evidence
The chart below suggests techniques to use when dealing with each perspective. Depending on your context, you will need to decide how deep a dive you take for each group.
Be careful not to fall into analysis paralysis, but take the time to include each perspective – lightly or deeply.
Above all, this process will let you identify and explain priorities so that, regardless of the final decisions about where to invest resources, you will know that you took a full look around and made decisions based on evidence.
The surprise benefit is that you will be gaining the support of many people throughout the organization as you carry out the discovery phase.
Your initiative will end up being carried by many people throughout the organization.
It is more likely that your digital workplace, as it evolves, will be sustainable and will trigger positive change in your organization.