Preparing to prioritise is as important as the task of prioritisation
Think like a Shareholder
All too often, prioritisation sessions result in self serving outcomes.
Over the years, we’ve observed many examples of “louder voices” or “more senior” resource championing their own mandate. This approach ensures their initiative remains on the project list when it shouldn’t necessarily be the case. It will often be the businesses underlying culture that has allowed this behaviour to win out.
In this example, one could make an argument that this is a failing of the Executive.
If a business is to make optimal prioritisation decisions, it’s imperative that some big questions are asked up front. The Answers will provide the context by which decisions are made.
Assessing decision criteria against the businesses strategy, impact on P&L, other KPIs is essential. Establishing the parameters ahead of prioritisation should be a non-negotiable. Warren Kwei, Senior Managing Partner.
Using independent resource will help ensure objectivity, both in attempting to ask, answer and analyse the big questions up front. In the larger/enterprise businesses, high value internal resource such as Commercial Analysts may exist, they should always be deployed in the early/preparation phases of prioritisation as they will be objective enough to support the process and drive at the optimal outcome.
In its purest form, once the criteria is well set, understood and clear, a business can then embark on the process of determining the decisions and outcomes from prioritisation. We advise participants to think like a Shareholder where possible. Whilst this wont always safeguard the optimal outcomes, it will go a long way to avoiding the self serving decisions businesses often endure. It will also enable the conversation to be better formed around the numbers.
Peruse some related examples below.
Moving the Digital conversation forward
Our client, Planet, a high growth, acquisitive, PE backed tax free business sought to position itself more centrally into the payments space. This strategy required a more digitally enabled business and one which held data at the core.
To drive momentum and help translate the” PowerPoint vision” into a cogent, prioritised plan and business case. EA were selected to help support.
Establishing a new strategic delivery office capability
Our client, Vocalink (a Mastercard Co.), wanted to get control of their change portfolio, ultimately with the objective of understanding priorities, financials, capacity, capability and whether risks were truly under active management control. EA were brought in to help support.
Pursuing a US listing for a UK Fintech
Unpicking a 10 year old ‘start-up’ and readying the finance function for a potential US listing required specialist expertise, intense focus, and a collaborative work-ethic. Our client, Worldremit, selected EA to help prepare for a potential future event.