Use A ‘Triage System’ To Help You Prioritise Important Tasks In Your Start-Up

Use A ‘Triage System’ To Help You Prioritise Important Tasks In Your Start-Up
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Start-ups can operate at a frenetic pace and it feels like everything needs to be done immediately. Time is money for start-ups and these businesses can’t afford to stagnate. But trying to do everything at the same time isn’t practical and here’s where using a ‘triage system’ to determine which tasks you should prioritise can help.

Hospital emergency departments use the triage system to determine which patients get treated first depending on the severity of their condition. Over at Startup Smart, James Charlesworth, co-founder and CEO of SaaS company Simple, said the triage method could easily be applied to the decision making process for start-ups. Businesses need to define a triage line to decide how they should prioritise their time without spreading themselves too thin:

“For me, the critical items are those which create the most value for the business. Now, this isn’t about creating a to-do list, it’s about applying my attention and focus to potentially life-saving issues [for my business].
“… There are things that are 10 times more important than anything else and quite frankly they are the only ones that count. Get used to being uncomfortable because that’s where the opportunities are that will move the needle.”

Charlesworth also noted that it’s important to have a clear understanding of lead times on specific initiatives or jobs.

“If you have a major product release that is going to take a quarter to deploy or you have a must-win account or sales you need to make. You need to understand and process that calculation so you prioritise your time correctly.”

You can read more about lessons Charlesworth learned since he launched his business over at Startup Smart.

[Via Startup Smart]


  • Triage fundamentally relies on the principle that there will be periods of pressure and periods of calm. Not sure that’s the best metaphor for a startup. Sounds more like a way to consciously identify and neglect lower priorities, which is important.

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