5 Steps to Prioritize Your Projects

No matter what company you work for, or how large your project is, it can be difficult for project managers to know which task to tackle first.
Prioritization provides you and your team with a clear plan for the work required. It also sets clear expectations for your client. It sets everyone up for success.
Here are 5 steps to help you prioritize your projects:
Prioritize projects based upon business value
Prioritize urgent and important projects by setting priorities
Assess your bandwidth
Learn to say no when you are not interested in projects
Flexibility is key to project prioritization
1. Prioritize projects based upon business value
Start by asking yourself one simple question: How will this project affect business? You must consider the impact on people and business. Is it going to make life easier for customers or our team members?
This step may require you to have conversations with clients, managers, or other key stakeholders. Ask detailed questions to ensure that your projects bring the most bang to the top.
2. Prioritize urgent and important projects by setting priorities
Now it’s time for you to go one step further in prioritizing. Now that you have a list of important projects, it is time to review it with an eye toward urgency. It is easy to confuse urgency with importance, so let us make a distinction.
A significant project adds value to your company, whether you feel it now or in years to come.
To keep your business afloat, you need to immediately attend to urgent projects.
To prioritize work, use the time management matrix Stephen Covey created.
Here’s how you handle each priority bucket
Priority 1 – Urgent and important: Can a project stop business from grinding to a halt Is there a deadline you cannot afford to miss? These projects should be completed first.
Priority 2 – Not urgent but important: Plan time to move forward on projects that do not have an immediate deadline, but are important to the business.
Priority 3 – Urgent but not essential: These projects are important but may not be of any business value. You can delegate work that is urgent or impossible to do.
Priority 4 – Not urgent or important: Don’t be afraid of giving these projects the boot to free up time and resources so that you can do more worthwhile work.
3. Assess your bandwidth
What do you do if you have 3 urgent and critical projects? If there is no hard deadline, weigh the effort required to complete each project.
TeamGantt likes to tackle bigger projects first. Everything feels faster when you do that. If you find it easier to concentrate on more complicated projects by clearing out the clutter, then go for it.
Be aware that stacking heavyweight tasks back-to-back can drain project energy. To keep your team motivated and fresh, alternate big projects with smaller ones whenever possible.
4. Learn to say no when you are not interested in projects
Let’s be clear: No is not a bad thing. These two letters can make or break your success as a project manager.
It is not as obvious as it sounds, but accepting every request for a project is a recipe to risk. Over-scheduling can not only put your team in danger, but can also cause your client to lose patience due to missed deadlines or poor results.
Although saying no may require you to have a difficult conversation, it will protect your ability to deliver on the most important projects. Don’t worry if you have to turn down a client or stakeholder. This could be as simple as delegating work to another team with the right resources to complete the task on time.
5. Flexibility is key to success with the proj

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