Friday, 3 August 2012

The "How would you spend £1000" prioritisation exercise

We did a 3-hour session the other day to come up with requirements for a open tender procurement, with a large group of stakeholders from around the organisation. Each stakeholder was coming from a very different angle on the problem, and the challenge was how to arrive at a set of commonly agreed requirements in priority order, with some idea of how they would be scored in the tender process.

The exercise we ended up doing was actually pretty fun and a good way to lighten up a long session.

Here's what we did:

  1. Before the session, collect some play money (either from a board game or create your own) in a number of denominations
  2. Once all of the requirements are written on index cards, lay the cards on the table
  3. Give each participant their "budget" (in this case, our budget was £1000, divided into £200, £100, £50 and £20 notes)
  4. Get everyone to "spend" their money on the requirements, piling their money on top of the index cards
  5. Send the group on a coffee break and tally up the piles of money on each card
  6. Arrange cards in descending order of money spent on them.
By the end, we arrived at a linear priority list of requirements. Some were surprised by which requirements floated to the top, which generated useful discussion and thoughts on how we can expand the sub-criteria for those categories.

How do you do your priorisation exercises in a large group workshop?

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