Do you know how to perform project prioritization and selection within your organization? That’s not an easy task, especially in large companies. This is because, in larger organizations, there is usually a series of activities from different departments and all at the same time, that is, the choice of which actions will be prioritized and by who, is quite complex. In this post we’ll explain what is project prioritization, why this practice is essential for business success, and how you can efficiently work with various departments within your organization to cohesively approve projects. Besides that, we’ll provide some tips that will help you optimize this practice and highlight the importance of scoring with an automation system.
What is Project Prioritization?
Project Prioritization is the process that lists all initiatives and ideas from the whole company, evaluating and ranking them according to pre-established criteria. This evaluation is matched to the available investment budget. The available budget is a variable and limited number, which makes the process of selecting the right project even more important. The process is about collecting those ideas and initiatives that have only been registered and still need to go through a more profound analysis. When a proposal is multi-annual (term of four years or more), it goes again through the prioritization process to be considered. Prioritization is also essential in reducing conflicts between two or more areas. This happens due to the transparent treatment in the selection of projects and the greater ease when communicating to the various organizational departments about the criteria used in the choices, reducing the stress and anxiety of employees.
What Should be the Criteria?
There are several factors to be considered regarding the project selection process, such as cost-benefit, urgency and importance, success probability, and deadlines to generate positive results.
As the name already says, this criterion considers how much will be invested in a project and what could be the outcome. It is worth mentioning, however, that this return does not have to be just financial. It could easily be represented by an increase in the company’s brand recognition, market authority, establishing new partnerships, etc. There are no secrets when talking about project prioritization. The activities with the lower cost and best benefit should come first. On the other hand, projects with higher costs and lower benefits shouldn’t be performed, considering you wouldn’t be able to justify the investment and could lead you to financial loss.
Urgency & Importance
Urgency and importance take into consideration how long it would take to execute the project and the impact it could generate in the company. When analyzing the urgency, it’s important to know if the project requires immediate action and if there are any measures that could solve the problem for the meantime, while the permanent solution is ongoing to finished. When analyzing demand, in turn, it is necessary to reflect on whether the project is important, whether it has the potential to optimize the company’s revenue and whether it can be related to the gain or loss of customers. In this case, it is essential to prioritize projects that are considered to be extremely urgent and important.
Effort & Impact
For this step, you should analyze how much effort it will require to produce and put that idea or initiative into practice and what would be the impact in the company. Regarding this criterion, priority should be given to activities that require little effort and have the potential to produce good results. On the other hand, projects that require too much effort and low positive impact must be left aside.
The lower the risks the higher the chances of success. It is important to prioritize the projects that present higher probabilities of positive results. It is common to have doubts about the project’s success probability and the best way of getting a clear answer is by analyzing the internal and external aspects of the company. Internal affairs are related to the strengths and weaknesses of the company that could be improved. External aspects are uncontrollable and relate to technological, economical, political, and other aspects. They could also impact the project’s success so it is important to analyze them in order to understand their influence and also to discover new opportunities for your business.
The expected period for generating results is another relevant factor. It is recommended to prioritize projects with shorter periods and a higher potential for success so that results can be earned and improvements can be realized.
How to Optimize the Practice
Having a joint analysis of all the factors mentioned above will help you to choose wisely which projects to put into practice and when is the best time for them. You’ll be able to choose activities that tend to provide better results for specific periods. As a result, your company will be more efficient, as it will make better use of available resources and produce great results; in other words, it will be able to do more with fewer resources.
Why it is Important to Use an Automation System?
As you probably understand now, there is a lot of information regarding project prioritization, and using proper software to help you collect, analyze, and understand them can help you make better decisions. Managers that know all the diverse activities happening simultaneously in the company can have a better overview of the business. Administrators will have the proper support on decision making regarding the company’s future and they’ll be able to focus on it. That’s one of the main factors that help companies select projects properly. Project prioritization is one of the main challenges faced by many organizations, especially large ones. That happens due to several different activities happening from all departments simultaneously. However, following these tips on how to prioritize them, your company will be able to improve resource usage and to focus on strategic aspects and market growth.