Project Prioritization is the first component of a Project Portfolio Management process. It allows your organization to focus on those projects that deliver the most value.

By identifying the best projects for business goals, time, money, and resources can be effectively deployed. Your project prioritization framework should be “data driven” to be objective and scalable. It should support the concepts of Governance and Transparency.

A robust methodology is desirable to support any number of definitions of “value”. For some, value is determined by increasing revenue. For others, value means reducing cost. A third measure of value could be a project that meets a qualitative goal such as “going green”.

The IT project prioritization process consists of the following steps (even if you are not in IT, these steps are still relevant):

A PPM solution will contain a project prioritization template to capture or create data for each of step of the process.

Project Intake

  • Definition: The project intake process are the steps taken/followed for submitting an initiative for evaluation.
  • Data Gathered: A project intake form allows you to capture project name, business goal, priority and requested due date.
  • How To Implement: Project Portfolio Management tools typically include an intake form template that you can customize to gather the appropriate information.

Project Scoring

  • Definition: A scoring model is used to quantify a project’s various components.
  • Data Gathered: Risk, reward, complexity, cost, revenue and strategic alignment.
  • How To Implement: Project Portfolio Management tools include a weighted scoring model which will let you create a project scorecard to view results.

Strategic Alignment

  • Definition: How well a project aligns with organizational goals.
  • Data Gathered: Score vs. goal.
  • How To Implement: Aligning projects to business strategy should be included in your Project Portfolio Management software scoring model.

Project Selection

  • Definition: Determining if/when a project proceeds to the next stage in the PPM process.
  • Data Gathered: Active, canceled, submitter and project score.
  • How To Implement: Your project selection criteria should include the elements described above. You can then determine your organizational risk/reward baseline.

A robust project prioritization process will allow you to answer:

  • Who submitted this project and what is its purpose?
  • How do I compare these projects?
  • Which strategic goal does this project support?
  • Why was my project not approved?
  • If I have limited resources, do I cancel any of my projects? Which projects?
  • Do I hire additional resources for myproject backlog?

Project prioritization ensures that you are making the best use of your organizations resources. To learn more about the additional benefits that PPM can deliver please see our “Definitive Guide to Project Portfolio Management”.

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