• Rachel Morgan

Step 5: Now!

Prioritise the jobs to be done against the reward vs. effort


Data can be a powerful strategic tool but it isn’t magic - it requires a strategy based on your business ambitions to determine what you need to deliver value for the business.


Having worked with many SME’s over the years, we have developed ORION, a simple 5 steps to help you develop your data strategy.


By following the ORION 5 steps you build a plan and organise what needs to be done to support your business ambitions using data and insight, as well as identifying the additional support and skills that may be required.


You may have now gone through the initial four steps and are ready for the final stage - the prioritisation of the jobs to be done to develop, validate and implement your data strategy across the business.


If you haven’t read these steps here is a brief summary:

Step 1: Opportunity is about understanding the business needs and ambition, the importance of creating a common agenda for your data strategy and the role of a cross-functional team.


Step 2: Realise focuses on using data to plan the strategies you are going to put in place to deliver against the business ambition, establishing the key questions you need to be answered to support your plan.


In Step 3: Insight we talked about translating the analytical and data requirements into plain-English use cases, with categorisation and labels to navigate the tasks.


Step 4: Operationalise took you through the practical, operational delivery of the requirements.


To learn more about these steps, visit the blogs on each area on our website and download the templates here.


So onto Step 5: Now!


Rarely does an organisation have the ability and resource to tackle everything at once, so the need to prioritise tasks is essential.


There are various methodologies for prioritisation. In our experience, we have found an impact vs. effort matrix frameworks to be the most effective, pragmatic methodologies for this task.


This enables you to consider the impact of the strategy (identified in Step 2) and the reward to be gained from completing the “job to be done”, alongside the cost and effort to deliver it (identified in Step 4).


Start by itemising the jobs to be done in a spreadsheet - we have provided a template to help you structure the spreadsheet here. Then populate with the dimensions that influence where the “jobs” sit on the matrix.

Look first at Effort: What resources do you need to deliver the task?

Think in terms of:

  • People - what job role is needed to do the task, do you have them in the business currently or do you need to recruit external support

  • Time - how long will the tasks take, split this across each of the “people” involved in delivering the task

  • Tools - do the “people” need access to any specific tools, platforms or suppliers to deliver the task

  • Costs - what costs are needed to deliver the task, and break this down by what the cost is paying for e.g. people, tools, assets, infrastructure

It is then useful to assign an effort score from 1-10 (in ascending order in terms of the amount of combined effort needed based on your inputs listed above). This determines where each task is placed on the effort axis on the visual matrix.


Next look at Impact: What potential business impact will the delivery of this task have on your business?

Think in terms of:

  • Knowledge - what will your business gain by having increased insight

  • Revenue - what financial impacts will be achieved through the task delivery e.g. increase in customer value, an increase of product penetration.

  • Savings - will the tasks delivery result in resource or time savings

As with effort, it is then useful to assign an impact score from 1-10 (in ascending order in terms of the amount of combined impact expected based on your inputs listed above). This determines where each task is placed on the impact axis of the visual matrix.


It’s beneficial to undertake this in a collaborative way across your organisation as resources need to be considered seriously - both having the skills available, and those skilled individuals having available time to work on the tasks.


Once both the effort and impact entries have been completed, a business lense of MoSCoW (must have, should have, could have, won’t have) can be applied. This is an important distinction to the effort/reward metrics as whilst some tasks may not rank highly on the matrix, there is can be an overriding business rationale to delivering the task ranking it as an M or S in MoSCoW, but this is done in an informed way.


Finally, translate the gird to a visual chart to clearly group the tasks by prioirty:


Click here to download our template to help you with this step.


Taking this forward into delivery, set up an action plan in a tool such as Trello or MS project to schedule the tasks and book out resource to deliver the “jobs to be done” and the dependencies between each task.


Congratulations, you have now completed the ORION 5 steps to data strategy for SMEs and are ready to put your strategy into action.


You have:

  • Articulated your business ambitions

  • Identified the strategies to achieve these ambitions using data

  • Determined your insight needs with pragmatic use cases

  • Broken down the insight needs against the operational requirements

  • Prioritised the “jobs to be done” to deliver in a systematic way


We Are MoJo is dedicated to developing data strategies for SME’s to drive business growth. We can facilitate this approach through our ‘Explore’ process or by providing regular access to data strategy leadership through a resource subscription. Get in touch to find out more: rachel@wearemojo.co.uk / tash@wearemojo.co.uk.


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