Let the business users who know VOTE. In IT there is always a backlog of desired projects. The same can happen in other areas of business. Let the people (stakeholders) impacted vote on the priority of each item in the backlog. Use weighted values based on stockholder factors to weigh each vote. If done correctly valuable work rises to the top of backlog.
There are many forms in Web 2.0 that can be used to allow voting and ranking. One interesting factor is that such a system can allow those impacted to have better voice. It can also allow comments to be add to work that can help clarify an issue based on people who are supporting that work.
Think of how Amazon ranks products. It is easy to compare based on ranking products get. Or take the idea exchanges where people are asked to vote for their favorite ideas to support. Ranking is an important part of the Web but is not used much within business. The same goes for comments; many times there is little feedback once a issue is put on a backlog. Let’s make backlogs a living event that can be commented on to clarify and modify where it makes sense.
Since there have been no votes for this idea I shall add some more details. For those who follow agile software development there can be collaborative environments versus the traditional top down authoritarian environment. One of the key jobs of management is to delegate work. To do this work has to be prioritized. The manager has to decide what the manager must do themselves and what will be delegated and what work will not be done. Many time the work is provided from areas outside the managers direct control. It has been common in Information Technology to have a backlog, work list , etc. Generally, stakeholders will be involved at some level to prioritize the work because there is generally more work requested than can be reasonably done. There are many example of this backlog being successfully managed in a collaborative environment. A change request with a change review board is such an example.
What I am suggesting is a simple use of technology to capture work requests. These already exist in many organizations. As the work request comes an initial value is assigned as a priority. These go into the log and vote for effort can be assigned by workers. This then becomes the backlog that can be adjusted by manager or lead.
Such a system allows work groups to simply manage their work load. It also allows requestors of work to see where their work request is in the backlog. With such a system works can take work from the backlog much like a SCRUM group would take work in building software.