Project Goal Prioritization in Context of Your Organization’s Strategic Objectives

David Tzemach

Posted On: November 16, 2022

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One of the most important skills for leaders to have is the ability to prioritize. To understand how we can organize all of the tasks that must be completed in order to complete a project, we must first understand the business we are in, particularly the project goals. There might be several project drivers that stimulate project execution and motivate a company to allocate the appropriate funding.

Project Goal Prioritization in Context of Your Organization's Strategic Objectives

The essential thing to remember while prioritizing activities and goals is to align the project drivers with the strategic drivers highlighted by the business. Some of the more common examples include:

  • Savings on post-sale maintenance costs
  • Guarantee of customer satisfaction
  • Time to go to market
  • Product quality optimization
  • Extending market share

A competent leader has to recognize and be connected with these notions in order to handle the essential dynamism while managing a project. It is critical to regularly prioritize and reprioritize activities and goals in response to new requirements or changes brought about by ongoing concerns within the sphere of influence. Here, it is necessary to distinguish between a leadership who is focused on delivery and a leadership who I refer to as an enablement. The former will concentrate on project deliverables that deal with the cost, schedule, and scope variables—known as the “triple constraint”—in order to meet the budget and deadlines. The enabler, on the other hand, will manage these factors in order to meet the corporate strategic goals, not only by focusing on deliverables and deadlines, but also by ensuring that the intended added value is carried out according to plan.

At first look, the demand for project execution appears to come from an organizational strategy necessity. Based on this necessity, the “go/no go” decision was taken by examining the business setting within the framework of some particular characteristics relevant to the aims the company seeks to achieve. This information should serve as the starting point so that the project manager and his team may confirm the original scope, segment the work according to its business value, and develop a workable strategy for reliable estimating. The project manager will be able to calculate the proportion of the business value contribution for each task using this estimation.

How Important Communication Is

It is critical to discuss the strategy plan to ensure that the leadership is prioritizing in the most effective way possible. A project manager must be encouraged and motivated, and he or she must be involved in business decisions. If the project leader is unfamiliar with the organizational strategic considerations, he will be unable to produce a project plan that is aligned with the organization’s objectives. Similarly, the project manager must explain any changes made to the prioritized goals and report to the corporate on the projected effect and risks associated. When evaluating the larger picture, the leader does not always have the whole business context to make unilateral judgments. However, his point of view based on his portion of the project is still important to the organization.

The psychological influence that this type of communication may have on worker morale and team performance must be addressed with caution. Prioritizations that change frequently might be problematic. It’s essential to be clear about the business context and project motivations from the start, and to attempt to maintain priority as steady as possible.

Organizations, however, are dynamic. Depending on the business environment, higher-level decisions may evolve more or less often. The organizational project pipeline serves as the foundation for prioritization management. At this point, choices are made entirely on a “go/no go” approach. On the contrary, in the project management context, decisions are more results-oriented, focusing on project execution and goals. However, an ongoing project could lose importance if organizational goals change.

It is critical to highlight the importance of maintaining prioritizing at all levels. Due to inadequate prioritizing and project portfolio management, many initiatives fail or must be abandoned during their implementation. When these kinds of challenges develop, it is customary to focus on project management rather than attempting to identify the true underlying cause, which may be located in the higher-level plan or in communication of the company strategic goals.

Prioritized the Risks

Prioritization of risks is also required. Risk management tasks often include cost-impact analysis. Every risk, regardless of its kind, will result in a lost revenue. Risk management and risk mitigation strategies must be budgeted for in a project. If we were to be cautious and prevent all risks in the project, the cost of risk management would exceed the cost of the project itself. Risks should thus be prioritized, and the funding for managing them should be allocated in accordance with this priority.

It is typical to estimate the risk budget by taking into account the financial loss caused by its effect and the proportion of its chance of occurring. We may use the following equation to determine this number (the challenge is in finding the numbers):

Funding allocated to risk management = [Financial loss carried on by the risk effect] * [likelihood of occurrence]

The necessary budget to control each risk will be determined by multiplying the economic loss associated with each risk by the likelihood that it will occur. The total quotation required to support all risk management actions will be determined by adding the outcomes for each risk that has to be managed. The notion of priority must be explained again in this scenario. Risks and their expenditures should be prioritized not just by cost and financial damage, but also by the destructive impact on both organizational and project strategic goals.

Prioritizing According to Complexity

When confronted with a large-scale project, we should break it down into quantifiable and manageable chunks that each represent a section of the business process. This division will enable leaders to discover existing restrictions between activities to be performed and other business entities to be implemented, allowing them to better grasp their particular added value contributions. For example, if we are implementing a selling system, the payment functionality will be the first feature that clients will want. The conceptual business flow must be fulfilled as a whole in order to set priorities based on company requirements and organizational goals first, then restrictions and other impediments.

Prioritization of issues depending on the complexity of each item to be done is a typical practice. The goal of this strategy is to begin working on the most difficult issues first in order to minimize risks and prevent running into any unanticipated problems as you near the finish line. If we can deal with more complicated difficulties from the start, we will be less likely to have to deal with complex ones in the end.

This common strategy is quite beneficial if we solely focus on delivery and timelines. Having stated that, if we begin examining priorities in terms of the additional value supplied by each scheduled deliverable, we may prioritize objectives in order to provide more business value in the shortest amount of time, while targeting the less valued goals to be addressed by the conclusion of the project.

Prioritization is not a stand-alone activity; it must be combined with considerations for business goals, budgeted expenditures, and expected quality, all of which might be part of the organizational strategy and, throughout many situations, be a project driver in and of itself.

Summary

Prioritization is a critical skill for leaders to have in order to manage project goals and ensure that they are aligned with company strategic goals. Priority management is a difficult process that should focus on these concerns by taking care of the business requirements, goals to be accomplished, budget, and risks.

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David Tzemach

The founder and owner of the Agile Quality Made Easy blog (25K followers). A platform that he uses for teaching and coaching others, sharing knowledge with people, and guiding them towards success while giving them the inspiration and tools to discover their own path.

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