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How to Prioritize Your Software Portfolio

Do you know what is really going on in your software portfolio? To maximize your company’s value delivery, you must prioritize projects that give you the expected benefits. A project prioritization scoring model can help you achieve that and beyond. In this article at PPM Execution, Tim Washington explains how you can use the prioritization scoring model to select the right project for your software portfolio.

Scoring a Software Portfolio

When you have an effective scoring model, it enables the governance board to understand which project should receive the highest value and priority. So, you must learn what is really going on in your software portfolio in its first two phases—definition and optimization. Once your governance team understands the benchmark, they can approve, reject, or pause a project. They can measure the upcoming or ongoing ones with the same scoring model based on a standard portfolio.

The majority of the organizations select and prioritize projects in one sitting. They decide on the budget as well as resources in the same meeting. However, that does not bring the best results. Without a clear vision of evaluation, you would prioritize low-hanging projects for quick wins instead of designating resources for higher-value projects. So, how do you build a perfect scoring model for your project prioritization? Here’s a guide:

Steps to Prioritize

  • Define: Identify and define the criteria based on which you can create the project prioritization scoring model. Do not rely on financial returns as the only parameter because that can overlook your strategic necessities. Though intangible, include strategic value, customer satisfaction rate, and enterprise benefits as selection options. Furthermore, it should be a mix of tangible and intangible advantages, i.e., financial returns, strategic value, and risk highlights.
  • Prioritize: Select a project based on the above criteria in a single session with each involved stakeholder. You can use two of the three criteria and weigh one against the other, leveraging the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). That will enable the stakeholder to consider what to prioritize the most.
  • Evaluate: Now that you have shortlisted some of the projects evaluate all the governance team options. You will understand the various stakeholder interests and gaps behind selecting the projects. Let the stakeholders remove the differences and come to a common agreement about their expectations.

You might want to skip all these exercises and select the projects to save time. However, the end goal is to serve the company the right selection and prioritization of projects before it is too late to back out of a commitment. So, invest some time in these activities to get better portfolio outcomes.

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