How an Eye Infection Led to an Improved Business Model

How an Eye Infection Led to an Improved Business Model

Mo Hamdouna

Mo Hamdouna

14 Jan 2019 | 3 min read

Last month, I found myself in the emergency room with an eye infection. As I sat with many others, I noticed, with my unaffected eye, a sign that indicated the hospital serves patients on the Australasian Triage System rather than a first come first serve basis.

The triage concept originated during the Napoleonic Wars from the work of Dominique Jean Larrey, Surgeon in Chief to Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. In the Battle of Jena in 1806, between France and Prussia, the French army used Larrey’s system of triage and wounds were classified into 3 categories:

1.Dangerously wounded

2.Less dangerously wounded

3.Slightly wounded

The triage system reduced soldier mortality and increased morale amongst those in the army, proving its effectiveness. This got me thinking about business and how this approach could help businesses under pressure by prioritising tasks to achieve the best possible outcome. A business triage is essentially an effective management process of dividing incoming work, crisis, or product issues and bugs by priority level so the highest priorities are handled first.

So how do we apply an effective business triage?

1.Create a list of all the tasks, strategic initiatives and moves you have to implement, as well as the key assumptions you need to validate and the strategic questions you need to answer.

2.For each of the items on your list, assign the items based on priority by asking yourself:

Does it impact the organisation as a whole or only parts of it?

Is the item business critical, in other words, does it concern the short or long term survival of your organisation?

Is it critical to your business?

Does it concern the entire organisation or only certain parts of it?

3.Think about whether a task can be completed using the standard procedures and processes of your organisation, or whether it requires activities and initiatives outside of your established processes.

Don’t hold up or delay cases that don’t need a high level of processing or scrutiny. It can help reduce workload, backlogs, cost and if done well, can increase client satisfaction.

Activities which can be handled using established processes should be delegated and those which require a different approach deserve extra management attention and should not be delegated. Hence they have a higher priority.

The key to success is understanding the variation in demand and building the right processes that ensure the objectives are achieved.

Some other ideas for your business triage might involve working on an end-to-end process – like all the steps from receiving a bug report of a product or handling a PR crisis that requires outsourcing.

In each case, all of the actions are mapped out and employees can identify the work necessary for each step.

If your organisation struggles with a sudden influx of demands or issues, take a look at the concept of triage.

I think you will find that it will help you work smarter and better utilise business resources; in certain cases, prioritise the business wounds, heal the sore spots and keep your business alive.

Start prioritising on what matters and have a chat with the team at Mo Works. We are glad to help!

Reach out to me, Mo Hamdouna at


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