Series: Help! I am the ONLY Web Analyst in my company| Deciding What to Focus On

In my post on Developing a Plan to Get Everything Done I helped Lone Web Analysts create a list of all the immediate and future tasks they’re expected to accomplish. This list can be very long, so let’s talk about how to prioritize.  With so much to do you’ll have to figure out a way to determine where to focus first and every step along the way.

The way to approach this will vary depending on your environment:

1. Management has a somewhat clear vision and set of priorities. This means that a lot of the hard work involved in determining where to focus has been done for you. Now all you need to do is make sure the vision and priorities are documented. Next mark the items in your plan that have a direct link to accomplishing the vision/priorities. From there the deadlines and sense of urgency will help you determine which items to focus on first. Be sure to communicate where you plan to focus to make sure you and Management are on the same page. You don’t want to hold off on endeavors that Management is expecting asap!

2. The “Other” Categories. You choose where to focus. How? By making your best guess based on: what’s costing the most money/resources and what seems to be the common recurring concern, issue, pain point.   A few ways to approach this:

  1. Find out what meetings and initiatives your leadership is most involved in at the moment. What are the “buzz” words of the moment?
  2. Find out what’s going on in the industry. Oftentimes being able to make a solid case for why you’re focusing on one thing as opposed to another can result in the support you need if you can effectively explain the value. Remember your leadership’s “unspoken” goal is often to impress their leadership.
  3. Find out what goals and objectives your leadership’s bonuses or performance base pay are currently linked to.
  4. Find out what’s been celebrated in the past as success by talking to colleagues at various levels within the organization.
  5. Take a leap in the direction that feels right, but be FLEXIBLE and ready to adjust quickly. This is where documentation and organization is highly valuable.  You may need to come back to something, and it’s much easier to make progress if you understand exactly where you left off.

It can be emotionally draining to try to guess what someone wants, when they don’t know themselves. So find a way to cope with the fact that you will have to take a trial and error approach.  I believe your greatest asset will be the resilience you exhibit when you miss the mark. As I’ve said before, deal with the emotions, and stay positive.  You can do it!




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