In this article we will talk about:
- Not having priority levels can be a shot in the foot
- Prioritization Matrix
- How to use the GUT array to improve the Prioritization matrix
- Matrix GUT in practice
One of the biggest problems related to day-to-day running in most companies is to live having to carry out very urgent tasks, ie "putting out fires." Usually this happens when there is not much planning and in the heat of day to day, many things need to be resolved without thinking about its real importance.
Basically, this confusion is a shot of the foot of the company itself, which ends up not separating the time, personnel and resources for the tasks that are really important, but that are not among the urgent, end up being left out. Fortunately, there are very simple and practical ways to determine which prioritization level of everything related to what its collaborators are doing.
That is why I recommend that anyone who has activities to solve in your business use the prioritization matrix. For those who do not know by this name, it is the famous matrix of importance x urgency, which divides their activities, strategies or problems into 4 main quadrants:
- + Immediate, + Urgent
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The visual representation is something like this image below:
The most important thing is to understand what to do with the activities, strategies or problems that are in each of these quadrants and I believe the ideal is the following:
- + Immediate, + Urgent - if the item is important and urgent, it means you are facing a critical activity and it demands your attention and resolution as soon as possible. Usually here you will have meetings of results, accidents, urgent problems, projects with deadlines, "incéncidios", etc.
- + Immediate, Urgent - if the item is important, but it is not urgent, it should be part of your goals and planning. For this you need to schedule yourself to carry out these activities and leave them on your list of priorities and daily follow-up so that they do not become urgent in the medium term.
- - Excellent, + Urgent - if the item is not important, but it is urgent, it means you are taking your time without this need. Here are important tasks for other people, unnecessary meetings, phone calls, etc. No matter what it is, it's important that you know how to say no or you can delegate these tasks, so do not waste time you could be using for what really is your priority.
- - Excellent, - Urgent - if the item is not important and not urgent, it should not even exist, simple as that. It may sound silly, but attending whatsapp group chats, checking facebook, answering unnecessary emails, and trivial conversations at work are the key items that could be eliminated so that your focus on what's really important increases.
Briefly, what is urgent and important has to be done. If the task is important, but without urgency, it is worthwhile to plan, set goals and carry out according to the deadlines defined. If the activity is urgent, but it does not matter to you, it is worth delegating to someone else to do. Finally, if the item in question is neither important nor urgent.
There is only one thing I do not like so much in the prioritization matrix, which is the difficulty of delimiting the degree of importance between activities and problems within the same quadrant. To solve this detail of ordering or identification of intensity, I advise the use of the GUT matrix.
Let's suppose that we had put 4 problems as urgent and important to solve in our business:
- Delay in delivery of material (inputs) for production
- Delay in payment of suppliers
- Required system update
- Optimize enterprise work infrastructure
In such cases, you simply have to list those problems within our GUT matrix worksheet:
After listing the issues that are within one of the quadrants of your prioritization matrix you will classify the intensity of the three main aspects of GUT, severity (importance), urgency, and trend. If you are not familiar with the topic, I advise you to read our post on What is and how to assemble a GUT array.
As you can see, according to the classification, the final score will vary, showing you exactly the order of which problems are most important and need more attention within the quadrant in question. In our case, that was the order:
Now just think of strategies, action plans and practical guidelines to solve each of them in order from the most important to the least important.
Another interesting thing about our GUT matrix worksheet is the automatic creation of reports and graphs showing the level of problems and the percentage of problems per level.
In addition to helping you make the choice of which items prioritization matrix you will solve first, the GUT matrix allows you to understand the real stage of problems, strategies and activities, providing a knowledge of the priority of all the running of your business.