How to prioritise to have the greatest impact?
When working in a team, you can get asked to work on all kinds of different work and so identifying what we do that has the greatest impact on the organisation and ultimately the place and makes the best use of our unique skills is the sweet spot you want to achieve. The reality is of course very different!
- What type of work do you get asked to do?
Think about what type of work you get asked to do (i.e. develop a strategy, develop a research framework, coordinate analysis, manage a project, write a funding bid, navigate the council’s processes, etc.) We’re looking for every type of work we get asked to do, as we know there are some that make the best use of our skills and others that services should be doing themselves. There are others too that if with training or tools we could help services do themselves. Cluster the types of work where they are similar to each other.
2. How would you categorise the work?
Take the post-its from section 1 and put them into the relevant category in the matrix based on how much impact the type of work has on the organisation and the borough and how well it uses our skills within the team. Those activities in high impact and high skills would be those where we should provide dedicated support because it’s so important to the organisation and borough and because we’ve got unique skills to support (i.e. developing the council’s outcomes framework or strategy, building a strategic partnership or new place-based giving infrastructure)
Those activities in high impact and low skills would be those where they’re important to the organisation but where our skills wouldn’t add direct value (i.e. frontline support to children or delivering waste collection).
Those activities in low impact and high skills would be those where they don’t have as much organisation or borough-wide importance but are issue-specific, and where there’s a strong need for the skills we have in the team (i.e. commissioning research, developing a funding bid, writing a strategy) Those activities in low impact and low skills would be those where they are issue-specific and where our skills wouldn’t add more value than what the services can do themselves (i.e. provide basic project support, organising meetings, etc.)
3. How could we help services do the work themselves?
Pick types of work from the low impact and high skill and come up with ideas on what training & development or other infrastructure we could develop to help services develop their policy, research, funding, equalities & partnership skills (i.e. problem-solving clinic, policy network, funding forum, anchor institutions partnership, etc.)
Pick types of work from the low impact and low skill and come up with ideas on how we can provide tools that help people do the work themselves (i.e. project/inception template, insights platform, etc.)
If you’d like to use this tool, you can check out the template I created on Mural.