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Project iQ

Which project from all your potential projects should get priority?

Most businesses have more improvement ideas than they can cope with. They don't have sufficient cash or management time to do everything. These potential projects may be in product development, or IT or business process projects, or infrastructural or capability projects or any other good idea. But which projects should get priority? There are many project champions pushing their own pet project. How does management make an objective judgment amid the competing demands?

It is tempting to use a spreadsheet and work out the cash flows and risk adjusted net present values. But often it is the hard to quantify imponderables that are the most important factors. And spreadsheets can be fiddled by changing the assumptions to get the desired answer with spurious accuracy. So the first step should be to take a helicopter view of all the factors including the hard to quantify.

The Project iQ app does this and helps provide a disciplined process that will assist managers come to a shared understanding of which project out of the many possibilities should get the resources.

For each project, it starts with an investigation of the project's importance to the business examining the likely impact on future profits, the costs of NOT doing it, the options and flexibility it will provide and whether it is mandated i.e. no choice but to do it.

Next it helps the team explore the likely chance of success of each project, examining the overall support for the project, the overall complexity and whether the necessary skills are available.

You will then be able to place each potential project on a portfolio chart with business importance on one axis, and chance of success on the other.

An important project with zero chance of success should not be given priority (though you may wish to focus on the lack of support or lack of skills to improve its chances of success in the future). On the other hand, a trivial project with certain success should also not get priority. It would be a waste of time even if it gives a warm glow of success! The priority projects are those that are important to the business and have a reasonable chance of success.

Click here for details of the Project iQ iPad app.

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