We’re struggling with how to compare different projects for prioritization. Do you have any advice for objectively assessing a proposed project?

PMPat via email

Those of you that have followed me in the PMI forums know that I’m a huge fan of Karl Weigers. In a prior company, my team adapted one of his requirements tools for objectively assigning a score to each project proposal. A sample of the tool is attached. Remember to work with your business partners to determine how to tailor it to your needs.I would also recommend assigning a relative weight to each line item. But even without that, it still provides a rough rating and assessment.

Project Prioritization Guidelines
Rating Cues
Driver 1 3 5 7
What is the opportunity for generating revenue? minimal (<$10K/year) some ($10K-100K/year) strong ($100K-500K/year) exceptional (>$1M/year)
What is the opportunity for cost savings? minimal (<$10K/year) some ($10K-100K/year) strong ($100K-500K/year) exceptional (>$1M/year)
What is the immediacy of the need? 12 months or later 6-12 months 2-6 months 1 month or sooner
Can this project be completed with current technical capabilities? no to some extent mostly completely
Will this project help us develop significant new capabilities or reusable components? few or no new capabilities or components some new capabilities or components several new capabilities or components highly leverageable capabilities or components
How much risk is associated with the necessary technologies? severe risk strong risk some risk minimal risk
How will this project impact other websites, applications or projects? severe impact strong impact some impact minimal impact
What is the level of user interface complexity? extremely complex quite complex somewhat complex not complex
How much maintenance and support will the resulting deliverables (application, process, tool) require? ongoing maintenance frequent updates occasional maintenance limited maintenance
Are appropriate assets and content currently available? <10% of assets 10-40% of assets 40-70% of assets >70% of assets
How strongly does the intended audience align with current user demographics on the deliverables? minimal alignment some alignment strong alignment complete alignment
Are necessary staff resources available? serious resource constraints some resource constraints minimal resource constraints resources available
Is necessary funding available? funding questionable partial funding available most of funding available funding available
What is the strategic value added to the company? minimal value some value significant value substantial value
How important is the business or strategic relationship with the client? not very important somewhat important quite important critically important
Adpated from Karl Weigers (ProcessImpact.com)

I hope that this helps to get you started. Drop me a note to let me know how you make out.