Don't have any one stage with a bunch of strings. The more strings, the longer the stage takes in relation to several stages with one string.

If you want a shooter to do more than one thing on a stage, such as strong hand and weak hand shooting, instead of having multiple strings, have them shoot the first rounds strong hand, reload, then shoot the remaining rounds weak hand. This goes faster than having 2 strings.

This would generally apply to a "standards" stage, rather than a scenario.

Keep the stages 'short and sweet'. The more complex the stage, the longer it takes. Also, the more chance for delays, questions, arguments, etc.

Tactical "Order" and Tactical "Sequence" are two different things, dammit.

Tactical "Order" is the same as Tactical "Priority" and refers to engaging targets in the order they are the most threat. There are three variations:

When no cover is available:

1. Assuming targets have similar weapons, Tactical Order is near to far.

2. If some targets have weapons that are 'more' dangerous, such as a shotgun, Tactical Order may be different, depending on the types of weapons and the distance. For example:
A. A shotgun at 8 yards may be more of a threat than a snubbie .38 at 7 yards.
B. Someone charging you with a knife from 7 yards may be more of a threat than someone standing still with a pistol at 7 yards.

Determining which targets are the biggest threat is a matter of opinion, and is best left the purview of the diplomats. When you try to put something this 'tactical' (referring to number 2 above) in a match, it leaves room for argumnent. Generally, you will not see this in IDPA.

When cover is available:

Tactical order is the order in which you can see targets around cover, regardless of the distance. There is no reason to lean out to engage a second target if the first target is not yet neutralized.

Again, there are exceptions, but that is best left out of matches, as it leaves too much room for argument.

Tactical "Sequence" is a method of target engagement, and does not necessarily refer to the order of engagement. If there are multiple targets that are presumed to the of the same threat level (by weapon or distance, whatever), some instructors teach, instead of shooting each target with a double tap, you should engage each target with one round as quickly as possible, then go back for follow up shots.

For a sequence of three targets, this is usually referred to as 1-1-2-1-1, meaning, 1 shot on the first target, 1 shot one the second target, two shots on the third target, one shot on the second target and one final shot on the first target.

As a general rule, any of the targets may be engaged first, the targets may be engaged in any order, but only one shot each. After the initial shot to each target, the shooter may generally fire the remaining shots in any order they choose.

Tactical "Sequence" would probably not apply when engaging targets from behind cover, since tactically you wouldn't lean out to engage a new target until the current target is neutralized. Generally, this could be stated as "Tactical sequence and tactical order are not generally used together."

Also, tactical sequence is not "required" by any rule in IDPA.

Scenario design:
When designing matches for IDPA matches, try to keep them short and simple. Other than the reasons stated above, the whole idea of IDPA is to run stages that resemble real life situations, or skill drill scenarios that test real life skills that may be needed in a gun fight.

If you always design stages that are long, high rounds fired, lots of with reloads, and a lots of targets, you're straying away from what is a 'typical' gun fight. Statistically, almost all real life gunfights are short, close range, and only a few shots fired, and are not protracted battles.

When designing stages for IPSC, knock yourself out. The more, the better.