Introduction: Video Course

Section 3: Balancing Priorities, Priority Categories, & Priority Guidelines

Section three: Balancing priorities. Prioritizing objectives.

Our next area of focus in this course is balancing priorities, because not all work is created equal.

All objectives are assigned a priority: They are created with a Priority of 2, and then you adjust them up or down as you consider them in relation to your other objectives. MyObjectives provides guidelines for the number of objectives in each priority category, which we’ll see in a moment.

Priorities help to distribute and balance the workload for your team. And like the conversations your teams will have about their objectives all throughout the wizard, agreeing on priorities involves rich conversations that really help keep work focused on what matters most in your organization.

Now, let’s take a look at the priorities, their categories, with a brief description of each. Priority 1 objectives are critical, which means they must be completed. These are your “keep the lights on” objectives.

Priority 2 are the essentials – which means that they need to be completed. Often you will find that an objective critical to one person on a team, is not as critical to the rest of the team, relatively speaking. That’s a good sign the objective is a legitimately “essential” objective for the team as a whole.

Priority 3 objectives are important. These are objectives that should be completed, but that if you’re falling behind on higher priority objectives you can forecast these down and push the remaining work out to the next period or quarter.

And lastly, there’s Priority S, for “stretch,” which would mean that it is a reach to complete those objectives… that everything else doable has already been done, or that you have some strong momentum going on a higher and related priority objective.

Since we’re talking in this lesson about planning your work for the quarter, this isn’t the place to discuss unplanned objectives — that’ll come later.

How many objectives should be set to Critical, Essential, Important and Stretch? There is no wrong answer; however, this chart is a good guideline for most teams. Let’s review our priority guidelines as a suggested percentage of how many objectives should be assigned to any specific priority.

So for priority one – critical – about 25% of your objectives should be considered priority one.

Priority two essentials should make up about 50% of the objectives on your scorecard.

Priority three – those that are important – should make up about 20% of the objectives on your scorecard.

And lastly, about 5% of the objectives on your scorecard should stretch you and your team to push through, to challenge yourselves to keep going if things go your way.