Red Flag: Only 12.5% of organizations look at their projects to see if they align with corporate goals.
Consequence: 86% of organizations under-deliver on their project portfolio’s value by at least 25%. If you’re spending $10M a year on your project portfolio, this means that a typical organization is losing at least $2.5m per year, and poor prioritization is a key contributor.
Do these numbers shock you? They shouldn’t, it’s happening all around you! Question is, are you part of the 12.5% good news or the 87.5% bad news?
Project Prioritization FAQ & 5 Signs That You Need Project Prioritization are two MUST READS regardless of your answer. I’ve seen too many organizations that fall into the bad news category, and ironically the solution is simple.
Let’s start with some solutions for the 5 Signs That You Need Project Prioritization.
Number 5: Your Departments Set Their Own Priorities
Cascade Planning based on a One Page Plan (OPP) is guaranteed to fix this problem because everyone has to fall in line & contribute to the top 3-5 priorities of the organization north of you.
Number 4: You Cannot Write Down a List of Prioritization Criteria
Hold yourself to no more than 3-5 priorities for any given period. More than 5 isn’t a priority, it’s “busy work”. Less than 3 and you’re putting too many things into the same bucket! You’re not differentiating the 20% (80/20 rule) that’s really going to move the needle.
Number 3: Project Prioritization is Highly Political
An OPP is your solution because it’s based on delivering your organization’s topline Mission (WHY you exist), Vision (WHAT you want to achieve WHEN) & Core Values. When you start with core ideology as your catalyst for decision making, it’s always an objective & simple conversation. I said “simple”, not “easy”. Politics is subjective. A good preamble I always like to lead any discussion off with is “alignment is key, and it doesn’t require agreement”. I can disagree, from a personal perspective, on what should be declared a priority. But if I have an open mind, a tool like an OPP, and I believe in my organizations core ideology, then I can align with what the rest of the team identifies as a priority.
Number 2: Your Projects Are Obsolete Before They Are Finished
For more than 20 years I’ve followed an Agile Manifesto approach to project management, and or any execution initiative. The world & markets move way too fast these days, what’s true today is not as true tomorrow. The 12,5% that succeed are running on an agile vs. waterfall project mindset. From the very beginning they’re setting an ROI threshold that will determine an early release and or pivot when forecasted ROI drops below a predetermined percentage.
Number 1: 75% of Your Projects Are Priority 1
If you can’t get down to 3-5 priorities, and or have everyone around the table align on those 3-5 priorities, then you’re either asking the wrong questions, and or you need an outside / neutral facilitator. Not just because I am one, and have done this in hundreds of companies across 5 continents for over 20 years, but because I use neutral facilitators myself to give me nonemotional 20-20 vision when I need to make important decisions.
Call to action
How many of the above 5 reasons resonate with you? What are you going to do about it?