How To: Develop Clarity & Avoid Procrastination When Managing Complexity

B2B Ecommerce, D2C Ecommerce, Ecommerce, Leadership, Marketing

A methodology for standardising your approach to marketing tactics.

I wrote an article last week illustrating the step by step technique I use for planning, prioritising and actioning a marketing strategy. Check it out here if you didn’t see it yet.

Within that, I casually mentioned a format that I use to apply some rationale and focus to each and every task, and to assist in prioritising when there is always SO. MUCH. TO. DO.

As with anything, where you have overwhelm, you can quickly get clouded and revert to a position of procrastination. The methodology I’ve developed and refined over a number of years helps counter that, and build a mindset that leads to clarity of purpose.

Chunking huge objectives into laser focused tasks is one part, ensuring that each task has the appropriate purpose, accountability points and measurement is another.

Over time, I’ve come to rest on using the following structure, built from common sense, experience and a healthy dollop of the good stuff development teams use daily.

Here it is. It ain’t rocket science.


It looks like this in practice (on a hypothetical task in our Trello sprint);

Broken into its constituent parts, although it’s mainly self explanatory, I find it works best when you pose each as a question to yourself or your team;


What are you actually going to do, what does this task entail?


Why should you do this task, what objective does it have. Is there some research or data that backs up the rationale?


When does it need to be done?


How will you actually do it, what are the functional mechanisms that need to be carried out?


Who is responsible for doing the task?


How will results be measured, what metrics specifically, does it contribute to a specific reporting KPI or some broader reaching OKRs?


Aaah the ICE score. Much has been debated online about this, google it.

We don’t live or die by this score, but it does prove to be a useful aide, when combined with human sanity, and an assessment of the available resource.

Essentially, this little mechanism can be simple or complicated and algorithmic, we keep it super simple.

I = Impact

What impact will doing this task have on the business.

Score out of 10, where 10 is the most impact. Higher is better.

C = Confidence

How confident is the team that the suggested impact will come to fruition.

Score out of 10, where 10 means we are 100% confident in the impact it will have. Higher is better.

E = Ease

How easy will this task be to actually do?

Score out of 10, where 10 means it’s super easy, and 1 means it’s extremely difficult. Higher is better.

Add the I,C & E scores up and show the total out of 30.

Now you have a whole bank of compelling factors to rapidly assess the benefit of prioritising any task, alongside a scoring system to add some Likert scale style flavour and statistics to aide the decision making process.

That’s it, all there is to it

Get in good habits of qualifying every task in this manner, and suddenly clarity will be presented. Every stakeholder can understand this rationale, there are no hidden meanings. Use plain language and be specific and detailed.

Use the measurement process, post data tables, screenshots and KPI reports into the tasks once they’re done — now you’ve got a benchmark for A/B testing or for running a variation on the task in future.

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