Focusing on Priorities

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen R. Covey

Focus on priorities

Have you ever seen someone working on a project and never seem to get it done? This may partly be due to not focusing on the priority tasks needed to complete the project. Often, more and more tasks are added to the project until it takes on a life of its own causing unnecessary delays and compromising the ability to complete the task. (This is often referred to as “scope creep.”)

As we continue our discussion on effective execution insights, clearly understanding the focus and priority of what needs to be completed is a key factor in successful execution. Last month, we discussed the importance of clearly defining the project’s charter and creating a project plan to move forward.  

Once it is time to “roll up your sleeves” and begin to work through the tasks (that should have been identified in the charter and project plan), it is essential that the Project Team stays focused on what is to be accomplished.

As we discussed in last month’s insights, a project plan is similar to a blueprint when building a home. Both define what the end product will be. If during the course of building, additional rooms get added or the layout changes, it negatively impacts the completion of the build and can compromise the integrity of the end product. This is what can happen when “scope creep” creates additional tasks outside the project’s priorities.

It is important to note that those additional tasks that are identified during a project may be needed and valuable. However, adding those tasks to a project’s scope should be fully considered. (Change management and the value of a phased approach both will be discussed in later insights throughout the year.)

The value of a clearly defined charter and project plan provides the structure for focusing on the priorities required to execute a project. Aldridge Kerr can help your organization focus on the priorities required to execute your project. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you.

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