E6S-007 Project Prioritization & Selection Tools- Part 2

In this episode number 7, (Part 2 of 2), we finish our discussion on how to use some common prioritization tools for project selection.  We conclude with the tools of Multi-voting, Forced Ranking, Pugh Matrix, and Benefit vs. Effort Analysis.


i.      Majority vote

ii.      How To

1.      Each committee member receives a finite amount of votes to “spend” on what he/she thinks are the top projects.

2.      Add up the votes and rank them from highest to lowest.

3.      Discuss the options and build consensus.

iii.      Benefits: Quick and easy

iv.      Pitfalls: Unlikely to foster significant discussion.  Not directly comparing to strategy or key company drivers.  Votes may be swayed by the views of the most dominant stakeholder in the room.

Forced Ranking

  i.      Ordering each option into priority order

 ii.      How To (Several Options)

1.      Put on sticky notes and arrange in order based on consensus. 

a.       Benefits: Fosters discussion

b.      Pitfalls: Not linked necessarily to strategy, and will be swayed by the views of the most dominant stakeholder.

2.      Have each member create their own order and compile the results in some analytical way.

a.       Benefits: More immune to the influence of the dominant stakeholder

b.      Pitfalls: Less active discussion. Will likely need to regroup for a consensus.

Pugh Matrix

1.                  Comparison to weighted CTQs as better or worse than some baseline

a.       (-1,0,1) (Bad – neutral- good)

b.      Quick and dirty comparision to CTQs as worse, no change, or improvement condition. Better as consolidation of several opinions.

c.       Benefits: Helps in evaluating scenarios when there’s no ideal solution and need to select one of the many possible options

d.      Pitfalls: Subjective if data is not available or clear, Scores can be influenced by most dominant stakeholder

Benefit vs Effort Analysis

1.      How To

a.       Score the projects on a scale from 1 – 10 on the benefit from the project (1 being low impact & 10 being highest) on some critical characteristics to the organization

b.      Score the projects on a Scale from 1 – 10 on the effort required to complete the project (1 being low effort and 10 being a high effort)

c.       Set a grid with benefit & effort on each axis and line up the project on the grid based on the scores.

d.      Project with High benefit and low effort, should be the one’s that are targeted first

e.       Benefits: Relatively easy to do and fosters discussions in scoring process.

f.       Pitfalls: Effort scoring could be subjective, resulting in some projects getting prioritized incorrectly. Dominant stakeholder influence

Hoshin Kanri

1.      Top down strategy driven technique. “Trickle-down” method identify and distill projects directly aligned with long-term strategy.  Will cover this exclusively in a series of episodes.  Worthy of a week-long training all by itself.


Disclaimer:  Only as good as the data you put in.