How To Decide The Project Priority

Project Priority

Now you have started to receive project proposals from across all aspects of the business how do you decide which projects to do first. The other challenge is how do you make everyone aware what the project priority order is? In this blog post I will set out the simple approach that I use to have an active list of project priority.

Project Priority

Photo credit: Pete Reed

The first step I do is request that each project completes a project proposal. Click here to see the template that I use.

One of the sections within the project proposal is the financial benefits and it is important that this is completed for all proposals as I use this to shape the list of project priority. Alongside the benefits another section of the proposal that I use to help decide the project priority is the strategy section. This section should state which company strategy the project supports. If the project does not support a strategy (and is not a legal mandatory project) then either the project is not worth doing or the company strategy needs to be reviewed.

Project Priority

As the project proposals come in make a list in a spreadsheet or software that enables sorting by columns (I use a Microsoft Infopath form feeding into a Microsoft SharePoint list). The list needs to have 3 columns project name, financial benefits (number only no text) and the supported strategy.

The next step is sort the list by the number column the financial benefits. This gives you a sorted league table of project priority. Start with the project at the top of the list and allocate what the project needs in terms of resourcing. As and when resources come available i.e. not working on the number 1 project priority allocate them to the next project on the list. Repeat this for all projects on the list until you have run out of resources (people and money) that you can allocate to projects.

Summary

  1. All projects complete a project proposal
  2. Make a list of all the projects
  3. Sort the list by the financial benefits
  4. Allocate resources to project priority number 1

In my next post I will cover the role of the Project Portfolio Board and their role in the project priority process. I will also cover how the strategy section is used and a typical meeting agenda for the Project Portfolio Board.

Thinking about your list of company projects what approach do you use to decide the project priority?

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