Establishing intelligent priorities is a critical part of any good business planning process.
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However, the task of making these priority decisions can be

challenging, And open errors – sometime very serious errors.
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So here’s a way to both simplify the process – and reduce the

opportunities for making mistakes. It’s a systems approach,
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The Old Way
Traditionally, decisions are frequently arrived at by providing an

answer to the question “What are our top or ‘A’ priorities?”
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This can lead to several forms of confusion and poor judgement. The more options you have, the greater the chances are of making poor priority decisions.
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Change your thinking
So is there a simpler/better way? I believe there is . . . and here’s

how it works.
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The Five Steps
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Step 1. Make a simple list of the priority options you currently have.
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Step 2. Read through your list and select the items that are of lesser

importance for the next month or so.
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Mark these item ‘C’ priorities.
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A ‘C’ priority is an item that you can safely delay taking action for

the next 30 days.
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You may also have some items in your list that are important, but can’t

be actioned until some other preparation or preliminary event has

occurred. These are also likely ‘C’ priority candidates.
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Step 3. (Now this next step may seem radical, but bear with me. It’s

the essence of a simplification process.
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So do this:
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Temporally, mark all of your other priorities to a ‘B’ classification.

That’s right. Make *every* other item that is not a ‘C’ priority a ‘B’

priority.
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So at this point you are absolutely forbidden to have any ‘A’

priorities. This is the business equivalent of tough love.
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“But, but, but, . . .” I can hear you saying.
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Trust me for a moment, I promise common sense will prevail.
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Before I continue, let me define what a ‘B’ priority is. A ‘B’ priority

is an item you can or should take action on – if you have *spare*

resources available (time, money, materials etc.)
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Step 4. This is where you get to differentiate your important stuff. Do

this.
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(a) Scan through all of the items that have a ‘B’ priority.
(b) Any item that you think is or could be an ‘A’ priority; upgrade

it to a ‘B+’ priority. Important – do *not* make any of them ‘A’

priorities.
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Step 5. Scan through all of your newly created ‘B+’ priorities and

upgrade just two or three of them, to ‘A’ priorities.
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I strongly recommend that you keep your ‘A’ priorities to two or three.
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If your track record of getting thing done is poor, you may wish to

consider have just one ‘A’ priority ant a time.
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Managing your priorities
As you complete an ‘A’ priority, you can then choose a new ‘A’ priority by reviewing your ‘B+’ candidates.
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So you now have a living priorities system.
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As you will recognise, this is a bottom-up method of establishing

priorities.
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It simplifies the selection of true top priorities by filtering out all

of the lesser important issues.
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Andrew Smith
The Business Plan Guy.