One of the major roles of a project management office (PMO) is to allocate resources to projects, so you need to know where to put those resources. This is one of the primary benefits of having a project prioritisation process within your Project Management Office.

It’s not just about resources; the outcomes of your projects will be affected by having a way for you and your PMO team to prioritise your efforts. You may currently have a way to assign priority to projects, but is it fit for purpose?

Here, we’re going to look at the positive outcomes of having a project prioritisation process. If you’re not seeing these outcomes as a result of your current prioritisation framework, you should consider revamping what you do, which we’ll cover in future posts.

For now, we’re going to cover:

  • What good project prioritisation looks like
  • How a strong prioritisation can improve your PMO
  • What good prioritisation will do for your KPIs

What makes a project prioritisation process work?

You need to assign a priority to your projects so that the value of each project is understood. This allows the people working in your PMO as well as project teams to grasp why certain decisions are made.

Having a set of projects in your PMO portfolio that aligns with the business goals and strategic aims not only reflects well with your leadership, but also will deliver a strong PMO performance.

You still need to ensure projects are run well, but having projects which will deliver what’s needed is a good starting point.

Your process needs to be driven by data rather than gut instinct. Having your prioritisation follow a set of guiding principles that scores everything by the same standards will make your process open and easy to replicate no matter who is completing the process.

What are the benefits of good project prioritisation to my PMO?

When you have a prioritisation process in place for the projects your PMO runs, you’ll see a range of administrative benefits. Your office will be able to run your project more effectively when everyone understands which projects are the most important.

The key benefits of prioritisation of projects in your PMO include:

  • Taking control of the project pipeline so your team know where to place projects in the delivery timeline and can ensure quality project get delivered first
  • Getting better projects – when other parts of the business are aware of how you prioritise projects, how they are planned and presented to your office will improve
  • You define the value of projects based on your office’s KPIs and business goals so expected outcomes will match up with the measure you have in place
  • Projects will run smoothly because you’ll be assured that they fit within the metrics your office works with before starting

How can good project prioritisation help my PMO KPIs?

The KPIs that a PMO has to hit will be different from office to office, but there are general themes that prioritisation will most definitely help with.

You should see a stronger return on investment (ROI) from your projects when you can accurately prioritise them. This is because you’ll prioritise projects that are the most beneficial to your organisation, ensuring strong returns.

Projects will be more successful in terms of hitting deadlines. When your office knows where best to allocate resources, they will be able to see projects delivered on time and not put people or money to projects that are low priority.

It is much easier to identify failing projects or ones that are no longer urgent for the business. The business environment changes and alternative solutions become available sometimes, and having a rolling project prioritisation will pick up on these changes quickly so less resources are used needlessly.

The take-home

There are many benefits of having a project prioritisation process in place. Your office will be better able to admin projects and should receive better projects in the long run. Basing decisions in your PMO on data and processes means that everyone understands what a valuable project looks like.

You will see more success in your office, too. When you know where to allocate resources you should be able to support projects to hit deadlines and budgets, and even assign more effective deadlines and budgets in the first place.