When you are involved in managing multiple projects or an entire portfolio, your first task is to determine which projects are of the top priority and require your immediate attention. Without proper project prioritization, it can be challenging to set up and implement key management strategies. It is important that you keep your mind focused on right priorities and use software to facilitate the prioritization process.
Project Prioritization Mindset and Software
Project prioritization isn't a piece of software, but a mindset that lets you understand top priorities and ranks of your company. With this understanding, you can account for the goals and objectives that your business deals with and develop projects that deliver business value and address your business strategies. Software can support and help you with applying your mindset to project management environments. Below are several suggestions that help you foster your project prioritization mindset and use CentriQS software.
Assemble a Cross-Organizational Team
So you are assigned to managing multiple projects. What will your first steps be? How do you know which project should come first? Or maybe two or more projects should start at a time?
To answer these questions, first you need to assemble a cross-organizational team of experts who will help you in prioritizing your portfolio.
By holding meetings with the team you develop a list of selection criteria or metrics against which the projects should be evaluated and prioritized. Example criteria are Return on Investment, NPV, strategic fit, risk exposure, customer satisfaction impact. You and the team can use CentriQS software to collaborate on the portfolio and share selection metrics data with each other.
Score Portfolio Projects against Selection Criteria
Next, the team can begin to score your projects against the criteria. Note that the scoring process is never perfect. You are likely to get results which are not a perfect fit to prioritization. However, by combining the perspective of multiple people in your team you can augment data and models with real-world experiences to gain a better insight into priority. CentriQS makes this process simple and rapid, fostering smooth collaboration and consensus. You can use OLAP Cube data to make project calculations and display analytics data in pivot tables.
Create and Score Alternative Projects
Although your portfolio projects are scored and the resulting information tells you which projects have got the highest scores, you can't prioritize the entire portfolio and its items just with this data. It is better to create a new portfolio of several or more alternative projects that may be run in parallel with your current portfolio. Then you can score these projects against the same criteria. This prioritization approach enables you to account for resource clashes and project synergies. You compare both portfolios to determine the most feasible and cost-effective one. CentriQS software allows you to create multiple projects in one and the same database, add custom fields for all and each one, and use dashboards to display project scoring data on a single screen.
Break down Projects into Tasks and Subtasks
After you have scored your portfolios and determined the most appropriate one, next you need to break down each portfolio project into a series of small tasks or even tiny subtasks. Breakdown allows you to keep your project priority feasible and understandable for your team. In CentriQS you can create tasks and subtasks for your projects as well as set predecessor-successor relationships. Task decomposition and dependency allow you to create a clear work hierarchy in which each work component (task or subtask) is manageable, observable and measurable.
Set Priority per Project Task
Next, you need to set priority for each task or subtask in order to make it clear for your team in what sequence they must perform their assignments. You can use different prioritization techniques, such as Urgent-Important Matrix, Grid Analysis, Pareto Analysis, Boston Matrix, and more. In CentriQS software you can rank your tasks and subtasks by several priority systems. First, tasks can be prioritized against their urgency and importance. Also you can set 5 priority levels, from "Lowest" to "Highest". Additionally, you can assign numeric priorities to make task prioritization even more sophisticated.
Remind about Top Project Priorities
And the final step in fostering your project prioritization mindset is that you and your team should always remember about the most ranked and pressing project activities. In context of a larger portfolio this task can be extremely challenging since there are dozens of activities with different priorities to keep on track. CentriQS lets you handle this challenge. You can set reminders for the most important and urgent tasks. When a priority is going to raise the software sends you and your team an automatic alerting notification right to inbox and desktop. And a summary of any updates made to your priorities can be emailed as well. You won't miss a thing!