Situation: The CEO and executive team of a $75 million apparel company were struggling to bring focus to their strategic initiatives. They were fragmenting their energies among so many important—but competing—projects that they weren’t moving them forward as rapidly as they wanted. They needed a way to assess the relative value of each one so they could decide where to focus their resources. Intervention: We scored each initiative on four scales: strategic fit with the company; impact on the company’s growth for the 18 months; the difficulty of implementation; and its relative urgency. Each person on the executive team scored the projects individually, so that we could identify any significant misunderstandings (e.g., the CEO thought the new product development system would be difficult to implement, but the VP of operations considered it a relatively simple change). We then compared scores for each project and reconciled the differences.

Resolution: The executive team gained a clear picture of all the initiatives they were working on, and by focusing their energies on the projects that scored highest across all criteria, they ensured that they were investing in the right opportunities. Finally, restricting their efforts to a small list of projects freed up about 20% of the CEO’s time and enabled the company to bring several projects to completion within three months.