Tools to Prioritize Opportunities

May 25, 2021

In the sea of opportunities how do you create focus on the right areas to pursue? Let’s talk about an awesome tool and best practice, an attractiveness fit matrix, that helps you sort, stack and rack all your opportunities.

Here are the steps to prioritize your opportunities:

  1. Identify all your opportunities. They should be in your SWOT under opportunities. Put them on sticky notes, one per sticky note. Look for discrete opportunities.
  2. Score each one and then plot it. You can do that all at the same time. So, to explain, there are three axes: X – fit, Y – market attractiveness, and Z – the size of the opportunity. Z is the size of the bubble that gets put up on the board.
    1. Take opportunity number one, how close or far away is it from what you’re doing today? Translation, do you have the capabilities to execute on this opportunity? Maybe you partially do.
    2. And then, how attractive is this market? Is it growing or shrinking? Is it highly, medium, or low competitiveness? Does it strengthen your competitive position? There can be a lot of other attributes you put together for a composite score on attractiveness.
    3. When doing this together, give it a score. In this case, the attractiveness axis happens to be a scale of one to eight as that is based on the number of attributes you have.
    4. Finally, Z would be the size of the sticky note or the size of the circle, or like we stated earlier, the opportunity size to you or the addressable market size.

Then continue plotting all the rest of the sticky notes.

Prioritizing Your Opportunities

Now that you’ve plotted all your opportunities, it’s time to prioritize. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Divide your grid into sections giving three columns for the fit axis and two rows for the attractiveness axis. Everything in the upper right-hand quadrant that is highly attractive and that you’re doing today is your core growth strategy. These are your top opportunities to pursue. They’re the least risky with the highest potential return.
  2. The next area of focus is what is called the big bets. These are the strategic moves that are a little far away from what you’re doing today, but also highly attractive. Prioritize these opportunities, working sequentially from right to left, after you’ve pursued your core growth opportunities and work sequentially this way.
  3. A couple quick tips: You can move big opportunities from the not doing side to the doing side through an acquisition. And if the opportunity is not attractive, even if you’re doing it today, proceed with caution.

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