Sometimes a picture really IS worth a thousand words, and this tool is often easier to understand just by looking at it, than the following descriptions.
How can we prioritize lots of variables in a more scientific way? I ran across this year ago, and don`t often see it anymore. (I can`t remember where I first saw it, but thanks to whomever invented it!). Here`s how it works.
- List your choices in any order. Put a number 1 through whatever, next to each choice, just in order. This makes a Prioritization Grid.
- Lay out a grid where you compare each number to all the others, as the picture shows. What you want to accomplish is to lay it out so you only choose between 2 things, no more, no less, but you cover every single possible choice.
- Go down all the columns. So in column one, ask yourself, "Which is more important; a business plan or getting an accountant?" Circle the choice`s number (in this case, the accountant, #2).
You`ve compared ONLY choice 1 with choice 2. So the next question would be, "Which is more important; a business plan or locating a building?" Mark your choice (in this case the business plan, #1).
When you`ve gone through all the decisions, total up how many 1`s, 2`s, 3`s, 4`s, etc.
- Sort the total in descending order, and that`s your set of priorities. In this example, we end up with 4 top priorities.
Your choices can be involved with a business, as the example shows. But it could be what do you want for dinner, which Christmas gift can you afford, or any other set of choices you want to organize into a set of priorities.
(I once set it up to hande 45 choices relative to a marketing plan, where each person went down the huge list, choosing only one option each time. The final result showed what a 10-person department wanted as priorities.)
Long ago, I saw this as a rudimentary Windows 3.x bit a freeware. I don`t know if it`s still available, I couldn`t find it the other night. But it`s easy enough to develop, so if someone here wants to convert it to a utility, I think it`d be cool if SuN had a section on the site for downloadable software utilities for entrepreneuers, or maybe just links to the big software shareware/freeware libraries.