How to turn strategic goals into executable plans through effective prioritization

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Do you struggle with prioritization? Do you have a never-ending task list that always gets pushed to the side? Are you a transformational leader who wants to implement new Anaplan use cases, but maintenance work eats up all your resources? 

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes — watch the video above to learn how Hayli Hay, Sr. Manager, Anaplan Finance Forecast & Planning at Autodesk, prioritizes effectively by following five steps.

  1. Align the focus of your CoE with the strategic goals of your organization. Hayli shares above that the goals of Anaplan CoE at Autodesk roll up to focus domains that are tied to strategic company goals. Examples of focus domains from Autodesk/other customers are: expanding the Anaplan footprint, enhancing existing Anaplan models, optimizing the Ananplan ecosystem, building connections between models, automating processes, improving decision support, democratizing data, reducing complexity, improving forecast accuracy, improving productivity, etc.
  2. Classify the responsibilities of your CoE team into high-level categories. Examples of some of these classifications are new projects, enhancements, reporting, enablement, user support, defect resolution, and maintenance activities. 
  3. Understand the team's current and committed workload and tie it to the strategic focus domain of your CoE. Effective resource planning is key to balancing workload, setting expectations with business owners, and influencing the leadership team. Hayli uses an Anaplan-based resource planning model to estimate the percentage of time CoE team members spend on various activities. This tool helps Hayli have objective conversations with her team and leadership to better manage workload, expectations, burnout, and capacity to take on new projects.
  4.  Organize and plan annual maintenance work by defining value for the business model owners and stakeholders. In the video above, Hayli shares the Applied Framework she uses to prioritize maintenance activities. A positive value is associated with enhanced functionality, cost of inaction for bug fixes and technical debt, and iteratively improving models based on customer feedback.
  5. Vet and prioritize new build requests by better understanding the impact on users and the organization. Autodesk uses the Product Vision Board to tie product vision with product strategy. This board has five sections:

    1. Business goals are the benefits to the organization for investing in the new model.
    2. Product describes the features of the model.
    3. Needs are the business reasons for the model to exist. This is the "why" of the Anaplan use case.
    4. Vision is the ultimate reason for creating the new Anaplan use case
    5. The target group is the user group who will use the new model.

Many of our customers also vet projects by using Project Charter-type templates. These vision boards and project charters are also helpful for change management. Once the project is approved, we often find project owners starting all their project-related meeting cadences by presenting the project vision board/project charter to remind everyone of the true baseline of why the new use case is important.

Let us know in the comments the prioritization best practices you follow in your CoE!