Task Prioritization is a popular method of arranging tasks and activities to create a sequence that determines which tasks to do first. It follows the principle: "'first things go first". It means evaluating a group of tasks and ranking into a sequence of importance or urgency. Then the most important or urgent tasks are moved up to the top of a to-do list to show performers (those who perform the tasks) the right order of execution.
Prioritizing tasks means a process of setting priority to tasks. There are two key components to be considered when doing the process:
- Priority Condition. It determines a set of conditions under which a task is not allowed to run.
- Priority Conflict Action. It specifies actions to be applied to the task if one of the priority conditions occurs.
Essentially, task prioritization divides all available tasks into two groups:
- Running tasks. These are performed at the given point of time.
- Queued tasks. These are not started until the running tasks are completed.
The challenge of prioritizing tasks is to determine which task should belong to what group. The challenge can be resolved by a number of tools, such as Prioritization Matrix, Grid Analysis, Paired Comparison, Pareto Analysis, Nominal Group Technique, others.