Introducing ForceRank - A Better Way to Decide Team Priorities

Posted by Mike Champion

Jan 14, 2014 10:22:00 AM

There are few things worse than a terrible meeting, or working on the wrong priorities. As we start the new year how will you make sure your team is aligned on the right goals without painfully inefficient meetings? We believe there is an easier way to help teams collaborate on making better decisions, faster.

Today we're excited to unveil ForceRank, a lightweight tool for teams to rank priorities and analyze the results. The flow is simple. Create a question and set of options to share with your team. Each person will rank the options on their own. Then compare the results of the group, or of any combination of group members. That's it.

Compare Results

Comparing two responses

ForceRank visualizes how the teams rank the given options by weighing their preferences. This quickly answers whether there is a shared consensus or disagreement on what is most important. (How exactly how you use this information is, of course, entirely up to you. There is nothing that binds making decisions by consensus.)

Quantify the results

The weighted group ranking

 

Why is this important? 

We built this app because we've sat through too many inefficient planning sessions, where people talk past each other, and some voices are never heard. The simplicity of this tool means there are many times when this information can be exceptionally useful, such as:

  • A leader gathering his or her team's opinions - Before making a decision team leads want to hear from those closest to the front lines. ForceRank can be used before a conversation to know how everyone views the situation. Having the right context can make a big difference.
  • Syncing up with a client - When collaborating between organizations, like with a client or consultant, it can save time to ensure that you all value the same outcomes. When you are billing someone by the hour you want to be focused on the most important objectives.
  • Coordinating remote teams - These days remote teams are become more and more common, but the tools to manage across geography are still catching up. More email is not the answer, and video-chat meetings are twice as challenging to make efficient.

From using ForceRank the benefits we've seen are:

  • Quantify what the team thinks - The simple report shows what the group prioritizes overall, and how people compare to each other and the group. Then it is very easy to have a conversation about why two people value things differently.
  • There can only be one #1 priority - Focus and clarity breeds efficiency. ForceRank pushes leaders and teams to be explicit about priorities and tradeoffs. No more hiding behind "they are all important".
  • Everyone gets a voice - Meetings can often discourage the less vocal not to share their opinions. The loudmouth steals the floor and some voices are never heard. Teams are strongest when they effectively engage with all of their people, not just the most vocal.
  • Discover "hidden" priorities - Often when comparing priorities people will differ on the most important item but they all have the same third entry. Everyone knows we should upgrade the database, but it never rises to the top. ForceRank finds these "hidden" priorities that are more important than they initially appear.
  • Avoid working on things that don't matter - The most assured way to waste time (and get demoralized) is to the work on things that don't matter. Or worse, for the group to go along with decisions they don't agree with.

 

Try it for your team, and we'd love to hear your feedback at hello@forcerank.it

 

   

What is ForceRank?

ForceRank is a prioritization tool for product managers. It helps people identify priorities, make tradeoffs, compare results and finalize a plan.

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