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PMO Quality Assurance part 2 – prioritise projects to review

sign showing prioritiseIn the last post, PMO Quality Assurance part 1, it covered the fact that designing and building a PMO is only part of the journey.  After you have invested all of that time, effort, money and emotion, you need to ensure that the PMO is effective and the tools and processes used.  If not, not a very good return on investment!

A good way to ensure this is for the PMO to establish a quality assurance (QA) review process.  However, a formal QA process will take time to design, implement and execute each review.  As PMO’s typically are run on a very lean basis, this can mean that there is not sufficient bandwidth to execute QA reviews of all the projects.  Therefore, it is important for the PMO to prioritise what projects should be reviewed.

Project prioritisation for QA review

Inventory of projects

First step, you will need an inventory of the projects for which the PMO has oversight.  If you have already established the regular reporting and dashboard routines you should already have the inventory.  If not, complete and exercise to gather all of the projects.

Prioritise Projects

Take the inventory of projects and then prioritise with the most important at the top and least important at the bottom.  My suggestion is to create the prioritised list by applying a standard set of criteria so that all projects are considered on the same basis.

Criteria that can be applied:

  • Complexity – how complex is the project.  New or existing technology, etc
  • Resources – how many resources are required.  Skill sets
  • Duration – length of project (multi year have more chance of challenges)
  • Impact – client / financial / regulatory impact high risk
  • Budget – larger budget usually indicates higher level of focus required
  • Benefits – projects with higher benefits, better return on investment should have more attention

By applying criteria like listed above will provide an initial prioritised list.  This should then be sense checked to make sure that the priorities make sense.

Review list of prioritised projects with sponsor / steering committee

The prioritised list of projects should then be reviewed with the sponsors and / or steering committee.  This will allow them to provide further insights and you may find that there are projects that, based on criteria are low / medium but are important to sponsors so they asked them to be raised in priority.  This is OK as the purpose of QA is to focus attention on the projects important to the organisation.

You will now have an agreed list of projects to prioritise for the QA reviews.

The next post will cover important considerations for scheduling the QA reviews.

Quality Assurance Resources

Quality Assurance FrameworkIf you would like to accelerate the implementation of a project quality assurance process, you may be interested in the Quality Assurance Framework by PM Majik.

This framework provides all of the tools, templates and guides to implement a project quality assurance process and executive reporting.  The assurance review teamplate comes pre-populated with 120 ready to use review questions!

For more information visit Quality Assurance Framework.