# Scheduled Prioritization

Establish a consistent measurement scale for cost. It can be quantitative or qualitative. Do the same for a measurement scale for benefit.

``````                  ^
World peace |
|   foo
|                                  raz
|                     bar
BENEFIT           |                                            qux
|
|
|             baz
Strong coffee |
`---------------------------------------------------->
Tip the barista                          Scientology
COST``````

Prioritization can now be determined by a function of cost and benefit. Inspired by the idea of a cooling schedule from simulated annealing, call it a prioritization schedule. Pick an initial prioritization schedule, such as y = x:

``````                  ^                                                 ┐
World peace |                                            .
|   foo                                .
|                                  raz
|                     bar     .
BENEFIT           |                        .                   qux
|                   .
|              .
|         .   baz
Strong coffee |    .
`---------------------------------------------------->
Tip the barista                          Scientology
COST``````

The benefit of any task above the line outweighs its cost, so it should be prioritized. The cost of any task below the line outweights its benefit, so it should be deprioritized.

Here, we see that foo and bar are clearly worth their costs, raz is debatable, and quz and baz are not worth their costs.

Perhaps cost is more expensive, relative to benefit, than as captured above. This might be better represented by y = 5x:

``````                  ^         ┐
World peace |        .
|   foo .
|      .                           raz
|     .               bar
BENEFIT           |    .                                       qux
|   .
|  .
| .           baz
Strong coffee |.
`---------------------------------------------------->
Tip the barista                          Scientology
COST``````

Now only foo is worth its cost. Everything else should be deprioritized.

Cost and benefit aren't always linear. We can optimize for low-hanging fruit with y = x^2:

``````                  ^                                  ┐
World peace |                                 .
|   foo                          .
|                               .  raz
|                     bar      .
BENEFIT           |                             .              qux
|                           .
|                       .
|             baz .
Strong coffee |         .
`---------------------------------------------------->
Tip the barista                          Scientology
COST``````

This picks up baz due to its low cost, and filters out raz despite its high benefit.

Experiment with different prioritization schedules. Continuously reevaluate the costs and benefits of tasks as new information becomes available and as business needs change.