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4 Examples of Strategic Priorities

Strategic priorities are a ranking of your strategic goals or objectives. This is usually based on a scoring system or the judgement of someone with the authority to set strategic direction. The following are samples of scoring systems with examples of rationales for prioritizing strategic objectives.

High Payback

It is common to prioritize strategic goals and objectives in terms of a payback metric such as return on investment.

Quick Win

Objectives that can be achieved quickly are often preferred to things that take more time.


In some cases, an objective has little or no short term payback but is necessary to the long term sustainability of your mission. Another way to state this is that some objectives have little short term payback but very high long term payback because they allow you to survive into the future. Objectives that are required for sustaining your organization can be described as "critical."

Scoring & Ranking

It is also possible to create a detailed scoring of priorities. This is useful if things are close such that you require detail to differentiate between a set of objectives. It should be noted that prioritization is typically performed by a single person with accountability for outcomes. This avoids the political inefficiencies of group decisions such as the abilene paradox.

Reasons to Depriortize

The following are common reasons not to prioritize a goal or objective.
Cost Prohibitive
Flawed Strategy
High Risk of Failure
Improper Timing
Low Payback
Low Urgency
Politically Infeasible
Resistance to Change
Technically Infeasible
Unfulfilled Dependencies
Deprioritization can be based on an unattractive payback, lack of urgency and criticality. It can also be based on cost, time, political, organizational or technical feasibility. Another extremely common reason to deprioritize is a problem with timing or dependencies.

Goals vs Objectives

A goal is a broad business result that you target in future. An objective is a meaningful step towards a goal.
Improve sales by 22%.
Introduce new menu items.
Run promotional campaigns.
Maintain high customer satisfaction.
Open a new location.

Strategy vs Plan

A strategy is a future target. A plan is a structured series of actions and objectives that realize a strategy.
Open a new location.
Research locations.
Purchase or lease location.
Obtain business permit.
Construct location.
Furnish location.
Staff location.
Operationalize location.
Promote location.
Open location.

Where to Prioritize

Priorities are typically set at every level of strategic planning including prioritization of the goals of strategy and objectives of plans.
Overview: Strategic Priorities
A ranking of strategic goals or objectives.
Related Concepts

Strategic Planning

This is the complete list of articles we have written about strategic planning.
Base Case
Budget Planning
Business Models
Business Planning
Capability Analysis
Change Drivers
Competitive Factors
Economic Moat
External Factors
Goal Setting
Market Analysis
Organizational Goals
Organizational Planning
Organizational Strategy
PESTEL Analysis
Scenario Planning
Strategic Analysis
Strategic Control
Strategic Direction
Strategic Drivers
Strategic Outcomes
Strategic Priorities
Strategic Vision
Strategy Development
Strategy Monitoring
Technology Factors
More ...
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