Prioritising ideas is a waste of time
Focus on the flow.
Put your torches and pitchforks down, and let me explain.
Any proper ideation or brainstorming session can easily result in hundreds of ideas.
Traditional next step (beyond never revisiting them) is to group and merge similar ideas, then figure our some ranking criteria, and the sort them.
In some "light-weight" cases that might be done subjectively and with dot voting, in others there will be a spreadsheet virtuoso that will create a ranking model and solicit feedback from stakeholders.
Yes, above is an absolute waste of time.
One reason: not all ideas are worth of your time.
What you should start with, instead, is filtering all ideas:
- First check if it is an actual idea.
- Then check if it is clear who the proposers is. Ideas don't get implemented by themselves. Context matters.
- Then check if it is aligned with strategy.
- Then try to put it in an appropriate bucket—e.g. innovation or continuous improvement.
- And then, and only then, it might be worth doing a more involved prioristisation.
The message I'm trying to convey is simple but difficult: create a flow—a river of ideas if you will—with a system of filters. Deal with everything that passes through to you.
And by "deal with" I mean explore the idea, not bet your entire company on it.
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