Each health department will think about potential projects differently based on prioritization criteria. Project opportunities will be diverse, varying in type, focus, size, urgency and required resources. Each of these attributes are examples of prioritization criteria. Selecting the appropriate criteria to judge the merit of potential projects is important to avoid decision bias or hidden agendas and ensure that everyone is on the same page. More criteria are not better; ideally, reduce the list to two to five criteria that the team believes are most important.
Project prioritization can be done using the Project Prioritization Matrix worksheet.
Urgency may be an important criterion. Consider the urgency by thinking about whether this project opportunity is urgent or important. Urgent activities demand immediate attention and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. They are often the ones we concentrate on, and they demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate. This data modernization work is a rare opportunity to address very important work that but will enhance the foundation of data work and lead to the longevity of this initiative.
Resource: NACCHO QI project prioritization and selection process
This document provides guidance on a typical project selection process used for quality improvement that can be applied to data modernization prioritization work.
Resource: Minnesota prioritization matrix tool
This tool includes a downloadable Excel file to assist the health department in determining the projects that should be prioritized by following the analytical criteria method.
Resource: NACCHO guide to prioritization techniques
This guide provides five widely used options for prioritization including guidance on which technique best fits the needs of the health department, step-by-step instructions for implementation and practical examples.