340.0 Portfolio Prioritization

Step 5 Prioritize Work

PortfolioStep makes a key assumption that there is much more work requested than the organization or department can execute in one year. During the Selection process, some of the initially proposed work was scaled back or cut altogether. However, normally that initial cut is not nearly deep enough to allow all of the remaining work to fit within the available funding and/or the capacity of the available resources.

The Prioritization step is where you make the decisions that will ultimately help determine the work that gets authorized. Some of the work may be cut during this process. However, that is not the primary purpose. Instead, the primary purpose is to make sure there is enough information available to prioritize all of the work for the portfolio. After the work is all prioritized, the Authorization process allows you to determine the work that gets funded based on available budget and your portfolio Balance Points. Theoretically, if there was enough funding and resource capacity available, all of the work that comes into the Prioritization step could be authorized.

However, if these are not sufficient, the work will be authorized based first on the priorities established in this Prioritization process. In other words, the highest priority work will be authorized but the lowest priority work will almost certainly not be authorized.

Prioritization can in fact occur twice. First, each sub-department prioritizes work internally. Then, the work is prioritized at the portfolio level. When there are a number of departments or sub-departments involved, this overall prioritization is done through a cross-functional Steering Committee. This process is easily described, see flow chart illustration Figure 340.0-1 but hard to accomplish, because each department competes to place its own projects as high up the priority list as possible.

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340.1 Prioritize Work Internally

340.2 Consolidate Work from Each Department

340.3 Prioritize the Work Across the Portfolio

340.9 Techniques

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