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Project prioritisation: Method to the madness

29 June 2016

An intrinsic part of project management is balancing workloads. Whether on a company-wide, inter-departmental or even personal scale, allocating sufficient resources to each project is essential. Numerous projects will demand your time and energy, so it is important to have a system in place to ensure maximum efficiency.

Choosing which projects to dedicate resources to is a challenging decision and one that will impact the success of the project at hand. A recent article in CIO notes that “resources are limited and must be allocated to projects that have the highest chance of return”.

Method to the madness

Numerous methods promise to make selection and allocation of resources simple. Projects may be evaluated based on their forecasted return on investment (ROI), the internal rate of return (IRR) or a non-financial factor such as the ‘intrinsic value’ it may bring to the organisation.

However, not only is calculating these indicators costly and time-consuming, they only take into account a limited number of factors. Hamilton, Byatt and Hodgkinson of CIO  have instead proposed an alternative method that weighs up certain criteria quickly and with relative ease.

Weighing up the Customer-Demand-Priority

The Customer Demand Priority score devised by Hamilton, Byatt and Hodgkinson projects the difficulty level of a project by combining a measurement of the technical severity of the tasks with total customer impact (loosely defined as the challenges that are likely to come up in dealing with individuals/potential customers).

The scores are scaled from 2-11, with 11 being the most time consuming or intensive projects. The scores are weighted due to a recognition that “proper engagement and agreement with the customer are slightly more challenging than the technical hurdles”. These are then used to determine how many resources a project will need, and thus how work should be allocated.

Of course, an important part of being a project manager is developing your own judgement and learning what measurements work best for you. Further study, such as a Master of Project Management with Southern Cross Online will expose you to a vast array of methods within the madness, and enable you to develop the skills to assess the viability of projects from start to finish.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to lead a team to success, consider a Master of Project Management with Southern Cross University Online. Our advisors are always on-hand to answer all your enquiries. Call us now on 1300 589 882 to find out what this course can do for you.