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We are now in the middle of the third quarter of the calendar year; and for many companies that’s about the time they start working on setting up the budgets for the next fiscal year and determining what technology projects to invest in.

Unfortunately, at this time, it also starts looking like the gold rush or a Christmas wishlist for many departments.

Everyone just keeps asking and asking for stuff and far exceeding any semblance of a budget.  So once the realization sets in that they can’t have that much stuff, they start to react and scramble.

So how do they figure out what to remove to get down to the budget?  Different organizations do it in different ways, but in many regards they are all look about the same.  Determine some level of value, stack rank, prioritize and then start with those projects.  Don’t say “no” to anything, just say “great investment idea, but not yet”.  After all, you wouldn’t tell a colleague in a different division that you can’t do something.  You simply say, we can’t do it yet.

Unfortunately, indecision is not a form of leadership.

This is one of the crazy making parts of corporate America.  We struggle saying, “No.”

We can’t tell a VP in another function that his idea isn’t supporting any strategy.  We just try to “prioritize” our way out of the nonsense.

When the process for determining what is worked on next is nothing more than an unframed brainstorming session of what could make anything better, we missed the point of choosing the next investment to make the right thing better.  We are making our projects and our partners jump over the wrong hurdles.

Something being valuable isn’t the bar.  Something being the most valuable thing is the right tact.  Start with the outcomes in mind and then go from there.