Prioritising activities to achieve outcomes

Focus on outcomes that deliver business impact

Building a KPI tree is the first step on a journey to defining the metrics that really matter, because the process identifies levers that can drive your business outcomes, irrespective on any organisational constructs as they are mathematically connected levers.

That challenge these presents is that most businesses will have at least one or two dozen key levers, and it’s not possible to do everything at once (at least not well!). So how does the business prioritise its efforts to focus on the levers that really matter. We need a way to continuously prioritise (and re-prioritise) which of these levers to focus on; both in terms of the desired value we want to achieve and the investment required to move those specific levers.

It’s easy to see how this could then translate into a roadmap of prioritised activities that are based on the desired state of these levers in the tree, and be a powerful planning tool that ensures all actions are aligned to outcomes that contribute to commercial impact. If it isn’t contributing directly to measurable value, or supporting an outcome generating activity, then we should question why we are doing it.

There are many methods through which to establish these types of priorities and they range from simple to very complex. What follows is a simple prioritising matrix method for quickly comparing multiple options to rank them in order of their impact on a desired goal. These are of course hugely complicated when done across many business areas, with weighted priorities and overlapping prioritises and functional areas so please view this as a foundational approach, that can build built upon to become a fully functioning prioritisation system.

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    Rich’s take on Az

    Az is from that rare group of people who excel at everything they do, accumulating learnings and experiences along the way, making him one of the most engaging storytellers I have had the pleasure of working with. He has an insatiable curiosity, fuelling a unique ability to balance art and science, and on top of all of this, still be a family man, putting the people in his life first.
    “Dreams are born in our heads, but they are forged in the fire of experience” – Carol Tice
    We have combined our respective strengths on this project, and given Az the freedom to use his superpower – simplifying the complex, which in trying to synthesise ideas and content across such a multifaceted topic has been essential.
    One of my favourite quotes has always been “it’s never crowded on the extra mile” and I have found through this process that Az lives right out there! Never was a hurdle too high, or a time Az wasn’t totally focused on our goal.
    “Together” would be my simple summary of what the journey has been like. We have learned and grown through what has been a fun and fulfilling process, and I hope this is only the first edition!


    Growing up in South Africa and moving to the UK, Rich had a diverse lifestyle which started as a curious young boy who would burn leaves through a magnifying glass at school, to learning discipline and structure through his mandatory service in the army, through to having his supportive family around him today. All of which contribute to the way that Rich thinks, acts and draws on his experiences.
    Rich has some unique talents including an amazing ability to draw (and write) upside down whilst simultaneously explaining something, but I’ve had visibility of his superpower in full flight through our time working on “Shift”: his brain. It works like lightning in a bottle; one spark can set off a series of thoughts that are processed at the speed of light. It’s incredible to watch.
    If I were to reference our pyramid approach in this book and try to describe Rich in three words, they would be (super) smart, humble and empathetic. Individually they are all great traits, but pulling them together, I can only describe as the intersection of genius; and Rich, in my view, is one of the best thought leaders in our industry with an unparalleled passion for helping businesses to turn motion into progress.
    At a time when everyone has had their fair share of ups and downs, writing “Shift” has been one of my favourite memories, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed and feel incredibly honoured to have worked with Rich on this book.