Business Triage Concept

Triage is French meaning “to sort”. In a medical emergency, triage looks at the medical needs and urgency of each individual patient. The process is not to discover the fine details of a patient’s condition and needs. It is a means for discovering on a gross basis the critical situation and stabilizing the patient. Once you identify, prioritize and deal with the critical issues you have the ability to focus on issues of growth and viability. In critical situations, it is a system of priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors.

Business triage is the assigning of priority order to projects on the basis of where funds and other resources can be best used, are most needed, or are most likely to achieve success.

In order to achieve a successful business triage, you should identify and set priorities for achieving a healthy business, apply the Pareto principle to isolate critical areas, utilize the theory of constraints to fix the problem, deploy action teams to work on the issues, establish measurements to monitor the progress of the improvements, continue this process until you achieve the target results, and then make sure you have in place a continuous improvement program to measure and make sure you stay on top of the situation.

If we triage well, we can feel on top of things, in the driving seat and, despite an overwhelming number of things to do, have a sense of being in control. If we triage poorly, we can feel buried, that dynamic complexity is in driving seat of us and we feel out of control.

Summing-up: When faced with situations in which the demands for resources far exceed supply and circumstances are unfolding dynamically in unpredictable ways, we have no choice but to triage. Using the same triage categories employed by military medical and disaster medical services, business processes are categorized as essential/critical (red) important/urgent (yellow), or optional/supportive (green).

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