It can be easy to lose track of an organization's priorities when brainstorming for new ideas. Though, it's important to remember that hitting a milestone for a project is just as important as bringing about innovativeness. Creating a "Wants & Needs" table can help distinguish the most important aspects of a project from what should be an objective of a future project.
Create a grid consisting of at least two columns, and as many rows as your team has ideas.
The first column should consist of the team's "Wants." All ideas pass through this column first, and anything that remains at the end of this exercise can be added to an ideabook for future projects.
The second column should consist of the team's "Needs." These are the objectives from the "Wants" column that the team deemed as the most important, and sometimes practical, next steps for the project. A need does not dismiss a want, but by separating the two it helps prioritize a list of actionable objectives for a project.
Establishing the needs of a project helps align everyone concerning a project's objectives. It also helps give those a voice that may not have always had one, ultimately democratizing the success of a project.
Some helpful ways of deciding a need could include: budget constraints, realistic timelines, opportunities for growth, foundational elements, necessary requirements.
A set requirement of time isn't typical for this process because it is an evolving document, or board of sticky notes. Though, it can take 30 minutes to an hour to get the process going and have everyone begin submitting their ideas.
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