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A Bridge to Enterprise Project Management, Part 1


Prioritizing Multiple Projects
Consider the prioritization criteria before prioritizing projects.

This PM Tip Sheet is a case study on prioritizing projects.   As a rule, the prioritization process is about agreeing on the criteria that influence priorities as a precursor to actually setting the project priorities themselves.  Said another way, it is better to agree on the criteria that go into prioritizations, because once that has been accomplished, the priorities, as this case demonstrates, tend to take care of themselves.

    A case study in establishing priorities.  

    In this case study, a company that has employees in eight locations has downsized its workforce and needs to reduce its real estate and rental holdings.  Their first step will be to establish prioritization criteria for which facilities should be kept.  The key criteria for this real estate management project, where each real estate holding was a "project," will be found at the column headings and are explained as follows:

    One consideration is whether the facility is rented or owned (see column "B" in the table below.  Occupancy would be another issue.  Some buildings held 350 employees and contractors, others hold less than 50.  Prioritization should be straightforward at this stage if ownership and occupancy were the only criteria.  Owned buildings with fewer than 50 employees would be "A" priorities for cutbacks; high occupancy owned space would have a low priority for release; and rented low occupancy space would be on the margin. 

    But some buildings had special labs that would be too expensive to relocate.  Some were occupied by powerful VPs who didn't want to move.  Some leases on the company's rented properties were about to expire.  Some facilities were located away from the main campus of buildings, so they became "A" priorities to discontinue.

    The company used a simple spreadsheet as a decision making tool. 

    In most cases the priorities will determine themselves. In this example, buildings #2 and # 8 were obvious candidates.  The powerful VP in Building 8 was eager to move back from what she perceived as the outlands.  Building #2 was owned, but part of it had been leased and that lease was due to expire.  The tenant would only renew if more of the building's space became available.

    In some cases, project prioritization can become subjective and emotional, but in most cases laying out options, as shown here, diffuses emotional objections with common sense.  Find more about prioritizing projects in this
    Tip Sheet on recession-proofing projects.

Learn more about prioritization in Technical Pathways' Managing Multiple Projects Workshop.
Bring prioritization directly into the organization with Technical Pathways'
Managing Multiple Projects.

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