Priorities are the Priority

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Johanna Rothman: The Manager’s First Role: Prioritization

"[E]ach manager has the job of prioritizing the work as his/her first role. If you know what you’re supposed to deliver to the organization, you can select the people and organize the work to succeed. If you never choose what to deliver to the organization, you can never fail as a manager. Of course, you can never succeed either, because there’s always too much to do. But you can certainly never fail. Until the whole organization fails."

Sometimes I get the feeling the only thing I’m doing all day long is setting priorities for the team. My boss defines my job as "making sure the trains are running on time." He doesn’t know that when I’m not working I’m playing Railroad Tycoon 3 (which feels a lot like the original RT a dozen years ago, one of my all-time favorite games). Operations management mixed with financial leverage, how can you not LOVE that game? Speaking of business simulations, I was disappointed by Capitalism II (the first was awesome), I hope there’s a better sequel down the road. The problem with many of these games is that the UI doesn’t scale as your business grow bigger. Games need proper executive dashboards!

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