Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Refocus Your PMO - Part IV

2.Ensure only strategically aligned projects are managed – all others should be dropped

Developing a systematic approach to prioritizing all projects in the organization makes sense but how many PMOs don’t do it or do it consistently. Too often, projects will get initiated without much consideration other than, “it seems like a great idea.” This lack of strategic alignment is a major reason for project failure. Project prioritization includes identifying how each project within each department is aligned with corporate strategy.

One way to establish a systematic approach to prioritizing projects is to develop an inventory of all projects, regardless of size or scope, that are currently being implemented by all departments and within the whole organization. This research phase is interesting. You will find many projects that staff are working on but that management is unaware. During this research many organizations will identify, for example, that they thought they had about 50 projects of various sizes being managed but when the inventory is completed they find out that there are over 100. It is no wonder resources are over-allocated and feeling stressed.

The next step in the prioritization process is to identify the overall goal, strategic alignment and key deliverables for each project. Then list these projects on a spreadsheet, referred to as a Project Prioritization Worksheet.