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Project Prioritization-in 5 simple steps

Project Prioritization Meeting image

Prioritization is an important aspect of our busy lives these days. As we try to multi-task, we often get overwhelmed. So, we prioritize our tasks and then take the tasks off our plate one at a time. Every organization has multiple projects being executed in parallel. Some projects share resources and need a budget allocated to them at the same time. Other projects need to be monitored closely since they are important to the organization. So, we need to come up with a simple strategy to prioritize projects. There are project management tools that help us prioritize projects. If you want to do it manually, here are some quick steps based on prioritization matrix method which you can follow:


Firstly identify top 4 or 5 criteria which are important to the organization. The projects should align to these criteria. Some of the criteria which I would choose for my projects would be:

  • Will generate revenue

  • Regulatory & Compliance mandate

  • Give an advantage over the competitor

  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Innovation

Note: These criteria selections would differ at each organization level and you should brainstorm with the rest of the team to get alignment on this criteria selection


Assign weightage to these criteria. Based on how important each of these criteria are, add weightage to each of them. This again would vary at different organization levels and should also be aligned with the team

I have selected the following weightage (%) for the above criteria:

Assigning weightage to criteria

Step 3:

Take your project list and assign them a rating on a scale of 1 to 9 against each of the above criteria. 1 is the lowest or least important rank and 9 is the highest or most important. I have take a sample of 3 projects and assigned rating for each of the pre-defined criteria.

Ranking all the criteria for projects

Step 4:

Calculating overall score of the project – Sum up the product of the weightage of each criteria and corresponding rating. So, in the above example in Project A, I have multiplied rating 5 for the Revenue Generator criteria with the weightage 0.25, rating 9 for Regulatory and compliance mandate with the weightage 0.2, rating 2 for competitor advantage with it the weightage 0.15, rating 8 for customer satisfaction criteria with its weightage 0.3 and rating 1for the criteria of innovation with its weightage 0.1.

So, for Project A the overall score is = 5*0.25 + 9*0.2 + 2*0.15 + 8*0.3 + 1*0.1 = 5.85

Similarly, I would calculate overall score for all my projects.

Step 5:

Sort and prioritize the overall project score

Once the overall scores for all the projects are calculated, we have to sort it in descending order w.r.t the overall score. This would give the project with the highest priority first and then the second and so on.

Summing up scores and sorting

Once we have our projects prioritized, it would be a good idea to run it by the team or unit heads to ensure mutual alignment. Many organizations have a review board to prioritize their projects and they are the final decision makers. They might choose to completely over write the project prioritization or use the prioritized project list. In either case, we would have our top projects which would get priority over the lesser priority ones regarding resource allocation, funding and overall health monitoring.

To watch the video on project prioritization, please click here.

For Project Management related references :

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