Management

The rubric busy entrepreneurs need to prioritize their tasks for impact

Look at the Priority, Importance, Ease, and Results (PIER) of tasks you need to accomplish. Using the PIER framework, the task with the highest score wins

This post was written by Trevor Longino

When a company has one person or even a small handful, it’s tempting to go with your gut as a key driver for growth. But “this feels important so let’s do it” doesn’t scale all that well. Once there are 6 departments all asking for growth assistance and insights as to what changes they should make to improve customer UX, decrease sales cycle length, improve newsletter conversions, or whatnot, you need something better. Teams and leaders need to know how to prioritize.

You have to have a scoring rubric.

You should have one now, at this moment, even if it’s just you spending a few hours a week working on growth improvements all by yourself. Why?

Well, a couple reasons:

  • It’s good to build the habit and process now
  • If you only have 4 hours a week to focus on growth tactics, you’d better make really sure that you’re performing the right ones

The importance of a good system to score your experiments and prioritize them arguably is highest when it’s just you.

I’ve been consulting & leading teams to build scalable growth marketing solutions for nearly 15 years now. In that experience, I have learned a few key problems which trip up teams. A big one is: how do I know what the next experiment that we run should be?

To answer that question, I built a 4-stage scoring rubric: the PIER Growth Framework: Priority, Importance, Ease, and Result.

Every experiment you can think of for your growth team can be evaluated by these 4 criteria. Each criteria is rated from 1 – 5, (1 is bad, 5 is good)  and in the end we multiply them all together to generate a PIER score.

Priority

Scale out of 5, but Priority can have up to 6 points.

Priority is how you deal with the fact that sometimes, due to management decisions or inter-team cooperation, the items that you need to know right now may not be the most important things from a strategic perspective. Maybe there’s a test you want to try, even though it’s a bit outside of your core objectives right now. Priority rates 1 – 6 on a five point scale. This is in case you need to put your thumb on the metaphorical scale to help bump an experiment up.

Importance

Scale out of 5.

Every quarter or year or month or whatever, your management team should be setting goals for the company. Experiments that align with goals are important because they’re the most sure-fire way to help any team achieve them. Absent any high-level goal for a growth team to target, rate importance by considering how closely the action ties to revenue.

Ease

Scale out of 5.

Make sure that you’re not running more than one experiment in the same part of the user journey at the same time

How easy is it to execute this test? For every team outside of Growth who needs to touch a task, I subtract 2 points. I also deduct a point for every 10 hours of work I figure it will take to execute. If it requires no dev work and less than 10 hours of work, score it a 5 (really easy!). If it requires a developer, a sales engineer, and someone from the Finance team and will take more than 40 hours of work to pull off overall…well. Probably de-scope the experiment to make easier to execute. The whole point to growth experiments is that they’re quick and inexpensive.

Result

Scale out of 5.

How confident are you that this will produce a measurable result in under 2 weeks? The result doesn’t have to be positive, mind you. Just measurable. This number is a little squishy because “measurable result” can vary widely from experiment to experiment. Keep in mind that every experiment needs to have a goal and a data-based result. You’ll see what I mean below.

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