Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Project Portfolio Management icon

Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Decide which IT projects to approve and when to start them.

  • Companies are approving more projects than they can deliver. Most organizations say they have too many projects on the go and an unmanageable and ever-growing backlog of things to get to.
  • While organizations want to achieve a high throughput of approved projects, many are unable or unwilling to allocate an appropriate level of IT resourcing to adequately match the number of approved initiatives.
  • Portfolio management practices must find a way to accommodate stakeholder needs without sacrificing the portfolio to low-value initiatives that do not align with business goals.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Approve only the right projects that you have capacity to deliver. Failure to align projects with strategic goals and resource capacity are the most common causes of portfolio waste across organizations.
  • More time spent with stakeholders during the ideation phase to help set realistic expectations for stakeholders and enhance visibility into IT’s capacity and processes is key to both project and organizational success.
  • Too much intake red tape will lead to an underground economy of projects that escape portfolio oversight, while too little intake formality will lead to a wild west of approvals that could overwhelm the PMO. Finding the right balance of intake formality for your organization is the key to establishing a PMO that has the ability to focus on the right things.

Impact and Result

  • Establish an effective scorecard to create transparency into IT’s capacity and processes. This will help set realistic expectations for stakeholders, eliminate “squeaky wheel” prioritization, and give primacy to the highest value requests.
  • Build a centralized process that funnels requests into a single intake channel to eliminate confusion and doubt for stakeholders and staff while also reducing off-the-grid initiatives.
  • Clearly define a series of project approval steps, and communicate requirements for passing them.
  • Develop practices that incorporate the constraint of resource capacity to cap the amount of project approvals to that which is realistic to help improve the throughput of projects through the portfolio.

Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should optimize project intake, approval, and prioritization process, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Set realistic goals for optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization process

Get value early by piloting a scorecard for objectively determining project value, and then examine your current state of project intake to set realistic goals for optimizing the process.

2. Build an optimized project intake, approval, and prioritization process

Take a deeper dive into each of the three processes – intake, approval, and prioritization – to ensure that the portfolio of projects is best aligned to stakeholder needs, strategic objectives, and resource capacity.

3. Integrate the new optimized processes into practice

Plan a course of action to pilot, refine, and communicate the new optimized process using Info-Tech’s expertise in organizational change management.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.5/10


Overall Impact

$72,204


Average $ Saved

27


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Town of Andover, MA

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

18

The material was very thoughtfully organized. Elvis was extremely clear, methodical and deeply conversant in the material. This was a superior ex... Read More

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Guided Implementation

9/10

$5,000

7

Long is very knowledgeable and practical...easy to follow and respect the client's needs.

MCS Healthcare Holdings LLC

Workshop

10/10

N/A

41

The workshop was virtual and focused on IT Project Intake. I enjoyed the workshop as it helped me identify which aspects of the project intake proc... Read More

Tyler Technologies, Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$64,999

50

The engagement that Elvis walked me through was incredibly valuable to our my own PPM team, and our organization. He took me step-by-step through t... Read More

Vancouver Public Library

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

5

Quite knowledgeable subject-matter expert was able to walk through example templates that will help us out. Thanks!

Shasta County Information Technology Department

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

85

Lots of templates and ideas. It will be a challenge to figure out how to modify them to fit our organization.

Plannera

Guided Implementation

8/10

$25,000

20

Jamaica National Group Ltd.

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

20

The best part was getting the templates...knowing that Infotech had artifacts I could use for this task was very gratifying. Note I have not yet... Read More

University of the Fraser Valley

Guided Implementation

9/10

$2,000

5

Integra LifeSciences Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

10

Time saving to define our approach. We will have to ajust the template but we are already starting from something and we do not have to reinvent th... Read More

Reiter Affiliated Companies

Workshop

10/10

$14,949

20

Best: it was tailored to our needs. Thank you!!

State of Vermont

Guided Implementation

10/10

$32,499

20

The best part was that Elvis clearly understood the challenges we are having with our intake process and has had experience resolving our pain poin... Read More

Oregon Department of Justice

Guided Implementation

10/10

$129K

50

the way the advisors explain things and answer questions is the best. The worst is not being able to go faster due to our own resource constraints.

City of Santa Fe

Guided Implementation

10/10

$30,549

120

Washtenaw County, MI

Workshop

10/10

$61,749

20

Bill did an awesome job delivering and when required explaining the content. Bill's approach to delivering the materials helped bring the entire t... Read More

University of Southern Indiana

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

20

Elvis was an excellent guide that used the material but allowed us to integrate it into our own practices within our PPM platform. Very polite and ... Read More

Central University of Technology

Workshop

10/10

$12,999

47

the engagements and the knowledge and skills of the analyst were some of the best parts. the worst, was the 8 hour time difference as we ended dail... Read More

City of St Albert

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

10

There was no worst part - great info from Long and great tools!

California Department Of Technology

Guided Implementation

10/10

$64,999

10

Southwest Gas Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$64,999

32

The experience was very helpful. I liked how Elvis had a diverse level of experience in a similar industry so that he understood our pain points. I... Read More

CalSTRS

Workshop

10/10

$64,999

20

Best: Working with an engaging and charismatic facilitator/knowledgeable subject matter expert. Level of engagement from workshop participants. ... Read More

Highland Homes, LLC

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

I don't think the above questions capture the impact that this practice is having on Highland Homes. Our productivity is having a major positive i... Read More

SCA Health

Guided Implementation

9/10

$12,999

5

I dont think the value of this effort can be accurately represented in time/dollars. This effort was to help us prioritize and to communicate trade... Read More

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Guided Implementation

10/10

$8,000

5

State Universities Retirement System Of Illinois

Workshop

10/10

$20,799

10

Tremendous insight on the project intake process from a PMO practitioner, which was invaluable to me. Helped differentiate between enhancements, s... Read More

Napier City Council

Guided Implementation

8/10

$2,570

2

working with Annabel will allow us to prioritize our projects -

Westconsin Credit Union

Guided Implementation

10/10

$129K

120

Best: Elvis' extensive experience and calm demeanor, positive attitude, and ability to describe very complex processes in a easy to understand way... Read More

California Department of Parks and Recreation

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

29

I'm not sure how to measure the financial aspect at this time but should have a better idea once fully implemented. Matt has provided guidance and... Read More

The Star Entertainment Group

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

35

Chemeketa Community College

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

18

Best part was working with Travis and getting to work in detail on our issues and arrive at solutions. The worst part was internal to the college w... Read More


Workshop: Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Refocus on Project Value to Set Realistic Goals

The Purpose

  • Set the course of action for optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization by examining the current state of the process, the team, the stakeholders, and the organization as a whole.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • The overarching goal of optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization process is to maximize the throughput of the best projects. To achieve this goal, one must have a clear way to determine what are “the best” projects.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Define the criteria with which to determine project value.

  • Draft project valuation criteria
1.2

Envision your target state for your optimized project intake, approval, and prioritization process.

  • Examination of current process, definition of process success criteria

Module 2: Examine, Optimize, and Document the New Process

The Purpose

  • Drill down into, and optimize, each of the project intake, approval, and prioritization process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Info-Tech’s methodology systemically fits the project portfolio into its triple constraint of stakeholder needs, strategic objectives, and resource capacity, to effectively address the challenges of establishing organizational discipline for project intake.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Conduct retrospectives of each process against Info-Tech’s best practice methodology for project intake, approval, and prioritization process.

  • Documentation of new project intake, approval, and prioritization process
2.2

Pilot and customize a toolbox of deliverables that effectively captures the right amount of data developed for informing the appropriate decision makers for approval.

  • Tools and templates to aid the process

Module 3: Pilot, Plan, and Communicate the New Process

The Purpose

  • Reduce the risks of prematurely implementing an untested process.
  • Methodically manage the risks associated with organizational change and maximize the likelihood of adoption for the new process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Engagement paves the way for smoother adoption. An “engagement” approach (rather than simply “communication”) turns stakeholders into advocates who can help boost your message, sustain the change, and realize benefits without constant intervention or process command-and-control.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Create a plan to pilot your intake, approval, and prioritization process to refine it before rollout.

  • Process pilot plan
3.2

Analyze the impact of organizational change through the eyes of PPM stakeholders to gain their buy-in.

  • Organizational change communication plan

Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Decide which IT projects to approve and when to start them.

ANALYST PERSPECTIVE

Capacity-constrained intake is the only sustainable path forward.

"For years, the goal of project intake was to select the best projects. It makes sense and most people take it on faith without argument. But if you end up with too many projects, it’s a bad strategy. Don’t be afraid to say NO or NOT YET if you don’t have the capacity to deliver. People might give you a hard time in the near term, but you’re not helping by saying YES to things you can’t deliver."

Barry Cousins,

Senior Director, PMO Practice

Info-Tech Research Group

Our understanding of the problem

This Research Is Designed For:

  • PMO Directors who have trouble with project throughput
  • CIOs who want to improve IT’s responsive-ness to changing needs of the business
  • CIOs who want to maximize the overall business value of IT’s project portfolio

This Research Will Help You:

  • Align project intake and prioritization with resource capacity and strategic objectives
  • Balance proactive and reactive demand
  • Reduce portfolio waste on low-value projects
  • Manage project delivery expectations and satisfaction of business stakeholders
  • Get optimized project intake processes off the ground with low-cost, high-impact tools and templates

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • C-suite executives and steering committee members who want to ensure IT’s successful delivery of projects with high business impact
  • Project sponsors and product owners who seek visibility and transparency toward proposed projects

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Ensure that high-impact projects are approved and delivered in a timely manner
  • Gain clarity and visibility in IT’s project approval process
  • Improve your understanding of IT’s capacity to set more realistic expectations on what gets done

Executive summary

Situation

  • As a portfolio manager, you do not have the authority to decline or defer new projects – but you also lack the capacity to realistically say yes to more project work.
  • Stakeholders have unrealistic expectations of what IT can deliver. Too many projects are approved, and it may be unclear why their project is delayed or in a state of suspended animation.

Complication

  • The cycle of competition is making it increasingly difficult to follow a longer-term strategy during project intake, making it unproductive to approve projects for any horizon longer than one to two years.
  • As project portfolios become more aligned to “transformative” projects, resourcing for smaller, department-level projects becomes increasingly opaque.

Resolution

  • Establish an effective scorecard to create transparency into IT’s capacity and processes. This will help set realistic expectations for stakeholders, eliminate “squeaky wheel” prioritization, and give primacy to the highest value requests.
  • Build a centralized process that funnels requests into a single intake channel to eliminate confusion and doubt for stakeholders and staff while also reducing off-the-grid initiatives.
  • Clearly define a series of project approval steps, and communicate requirements for passing them.
  • Developing practices that incorporate the constraint of resource capacity to cap the amount of project approvals to that which is realistic will help improve the throughput of projects through the portfolio.

Info-Tech Insight

  1. Approve only the right projects… Counterbalance stakeholder needs with strategic objectives of the business and that of IT, in order to maintain the value of your project portfolio at a high level.
  2. …that you have capacity to deliver. Resource capacity-informed project approval process enables you to avoid biting off more than you can chew and, over time, build a track record of fulfilling promises to deliver on projects.

Most organizations are good at approving projects, but bad at starting them – and even worse at finishing them

Establishing project intake discipline should be a top priority from a long-term strategy and near-term tactical perspective.

Most organizations approve more projects than they can finish. In fact, many approve more than they can even start, leading to an ever-growing backlog where project ideas – often good ones – are never heard from again.

The appetite to approve more runs directly counter to the shortage of resources that plagues most IT departments. This tension of wanting more from less suggests that IT departments need to be more disciplined in choosing what to take on.

Info-Tech’s data shows that most IT organizations struggle with their project backlog (Source: N=397 organizations, Info-Tech Research Group PPM Current State Scorecard, 2017).

“There is a minimal list of pending projects”

A bar graph is depicted. It has 5 bars to show that when it comes to minimal lists of pending projects, 34% strongly disagree, 35% disagree, and 21% are ambivalent. Only 7% agree and 3% strongly agree.

“Last year we delivered the number of projects we anticipated at the start of the year”

A bar graph is depicted. It has 5 bars to show that when it comes to the number of projects anticipated at the start of the year, they were delivered. Surveyors strongly disagreed at 24%, disagreed at 31%, and were ambivalent at 30%. Only 13% agreed and 2% strongly agreed.

The concept of fiduciary duty demonstrates the need for better discipline in choosing what projects to take on

Unless someone is accountable for making the right investment of resource capacity for the right projects, project intake discipline cannot be established effectively.

What is fiduciary duty?

Officers and directors owe their corporation the duty of acting in the corporation’s best interests over their own. They may delegate the responsibility of implementing the actions, but accountability can't be delegated; that is, they have the authority to make choices and are ultimately answerable for them.

No question is more important to the organization’s bottom line. Projects directly impact the bottom line because they require investment of resource time and money for the purposes of realizing benefits. The scarcity of resources requires that choices be made by those who have the right authority.

Who approves your projects?

Historically, the answer would have been the executive layer of the organization. However, in the 1990s management largely abdicated its obligation to control resources and expenditures via “employee empowerment.”

Controls on approvals became less rigid, and accountability for choosing what to do (and not do) shifted onto the shoulders of the individual worker. This creates a current paradigm where no one is accountable for the malinvestment…

…of resources that comes from approving too many projects. Instead, it’s up to individual workers to sink or swim as they attempt to reconcile, day after day, seemingly infinite organizational demand with their finite supply of working hours.

Ad hoc project selection schemes do not work

Without active management, reconciling the imbalance between demand with available work hours is a struggle that results largely in one of these two scenarios:

“Squeaky wheel”: Projects with the most vocal stakeholders behind them are worked on first.

  • IT is seen to favor certain lines of business, leading to disenfranchisement of other stakeholders.
  • Everything becomes the highest priority, which reinforces IT’s image as a firefighter, rather than a business value contributor
  • High-value projects without vocal support never get resourced; opportunities are missed.

“First in, first out”: Projects are approved and executed in the order they are requested.

  • Urgent or important projects for the business languish in the project backlog; opportunities are missed.
  • Low-value projects dominate the project portfolio.
  • Stakeholders leave IT out of the loop and resort to “underground economy” for getting their needs addressed.

80% of organizations feel that their portfolios are dominated by low-value initiatives that do not deliver value to the business (Source: Cooper).

Approve the right projects that you have capacity to deliver by actively managing the intake of projects

Project intake, approval, and prioritization (collectively “project intake”) reconciles the appetite for new projects with available resource capacity and strategic goals.

Project intake is a key process of project portfolio management (PPM). The Project Management Institute (PMI) describes PPM as:

"Interrelated organizational processes by which an organization evaluates, selects, prioritizes, and allocates its limited internal resources to best accomplish organizational strategies consistent with its vision, mission, and values."

(PMI, Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd ed.)

Triple Constraint Model of the Project Portfolio

Project Intake:

  • Stakeholder Need
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Resource Capacity

All three components are required for the Project Portfolio

Organizations practicing PPM recognize available resource capacity as a constraint and aim to select projects – and commit the said capacity – to projects that:

  1. Best satisfy the stakeholder needs that constantly change with the market
  2. Best align to the strategic objectives and contribute the most to business
  3. Have sufficient resource capacity available to best ensure consistent project throughput

92% vs. 74%: 92% of high-performing organizations in PPM report that projects are well aligned to strategic initiatives vs. 74% of low performers (PMI, 2015).

82% vs. 55%: 82% of high-performing organizations in PPM report that resources are effectively reallocated across projects vs. 55% of low performers (PMI, 2015)

Info-Tech’s data demonstrates that optimizing project intake can also improve business leaders’ satisfaction of IT

CEOs today perceive IT to be poorly aligned to business’ strategic goals:

43% of CEOs believe that business goals are going unsupported by IT (Source: Info-Tech’s CEO-CIO Alignment Survey (N=124)).

60% of CEOs believe that improvement is required around IT’s understanding of business goals (Source: Info-Tech’s CEO-CIO Alignment Survey (N=124)).

Business leaders today are generally dissatisfied with IT:

30% of business stakeholders are supporters of their IT departments (Source: Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Survey (N=21,367)).

The key to improving business satisfaction with IT is to deliver on projects that help the business achieve its strategic goals:

A chart is depicted to show a list of reported important projects, and then reordering the projects based on actual importance.
Source: Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Survey (N=21,367)

Optimized project intake not only improves the project portfolio’s alignment to business goals, but provides the most effective way to improve relationships with IT’s key stakeholders.

Benchmark your own current state with overall & industry-specific data using Info-Tech’s Diagnostic Program.

However, establishing organizational discipline for project intake, approval, and prioritization is difficult

Capacity awareness

Many IT departments struggle to realistically estimate available project capacity in a credible way. Stakeholders question the validity of your endeavor to install capacity-constrained intake process, and mistake it for unwillingness to cooperate instead.

Many moving parts

Project intake, approval, and prioritization involve the coordination of various departments. Therefore, they require a great deal of buy-in and compliance from multiple stakeholders and senior executives.

Lack of authority

Many PMOs and IT departments simply lack the ability to decline or defer new projects.

Unclear definition of value

Defining the project value is difficult because there are so many different and conflicting ways that are all valid in their own right. However, without it, it's impossible to fairly compare among projects to select what's "best."

Establishing intake discipline requires a great degree of cooperation and conformity among stakeholders that can be cultivated through strong processes.

Info-Tech’s intake, approval, and prioritization methodology systemically fits the project portfolio to its triple constraint

Info-Tech’s Methodology

Info-Tech’s Methodology
Project Intake Project Approval Project Prioritization
Project requests are submitted, received, triaged, and scoped in preparation for approval and prioritization. Business cases are developed, evaluated, and selected (or declined) for investment, based on estimated value and feasibility. Work is scheduled to begin, based on relative value, urgency, and availability of resources.
Stakeholder Needs Strategic Objectives Resource Capacity
Project Portfolio Triple Constraint

Info-Tech’s methodology for optimizing project intake delivers extraordinary value, fast

In the first step of the blueprint, you will prototype a set of scorecard criteria for determining project value.

Our methodology is designed to tackle your hardest challenge first to deliver the highest-value part of the deliverable. Since the overarching goal of optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization process is to maximize the throughput of the best projects, one must define how “the best projects” are determined.

In nearly all instances…a key challenge for the PPM team is reaching agreement over how projects should rank.

– Merkhofer

A Project Value Scorecard will help you:

  • Evolve the discussions on project and portfolio value beyond a theoretical concept
  • Enable apples-to-apples comparisons amongst many different kinds of projects

The Project Value Scorecard Development Tool is designed to help you develop the project valuation scheme iteratively. Download the pre-filled tool with content that represents a common case, and then, customize it with your data.

A screenshot of Info-Tech's Project Value Scorecard Development Tool

This blueprint provides a clear path to maximizing your chance of success in optimizing project intake

Info-Tech’s practical, tactical research is accompanied by a suite of tools and templates to accelerate your process optimization efforts.

Organizational change and stakeholder management are critical elements of optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization processes because they require a great degree of cooperation and conformity among stakeholders, and the list of key stakeholders are long and far-reaching.

This blueprint will provide a clear path to not only optimize the processes themselves, but also for the optimization effort itself. This research is organized into three phases, each requiring a few weeks of work at your team’s own pace – or all in one week, through a workshop facilitated by Info-Tech analysts.

Set Realistic Goals for Optimizing Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Tools and Templates:

  • Project Value Scorecard Development Tool (.xlsx)
  • PPM Assessment Report (Info-Tech Diagnostics)
  • Standard Operating Procedure Template (.docx)

Build Optimized Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Processes

Tools and Templates:

  • Project Request Forms (.docx)
  • Project Classification Matrix (.xlsx)
  • Benefits Commitment Form (.xlsx)
  • Proposed Project Technology Assessment Tool (.xlsx)
  • Business Case Templates (.docx)
  • Intake and Prioritization Tool (.xlsx)

Integrate the Newly Optimized Processes into Practice

Tools and Templates:

  • Process Pilot Plan Template (.docx)
  • Impact Assessment and Communication Planning Tool (.xlsx)

Info-Tech’s approach to PPM is informed by industry best practices and rooted in practical insider research

Info-Tech uses PMI and ISACA frameworks for areas of this research.

The logo for PMI is in the picture.

PMI’s Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd ed. is the leading industry framework, proving project portfolio management best practices and process guidelines.

The logo for COBIT 5 is in the picture.

COBIT 5 is the leading framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

In addition to industry-leading frameworks, our best-practice approach is enhanced by the insights and guidance from our analysts, industry experts, and our clients.

Info-Tech's logo is shown.

33,000+

Our peer network of over 33,000 happy clients proves the effectiveness of our research.

1,000+

Our team conducts 1,000+ hours of primary and secondary research to ensure that our approach is enhanced by best practices.

Deliver measurable project intake success for your organization with this blueprint

Measure the value of your effort to track your success quantitatively and demonstrate the proposed benefits, as you aim to do so with other projects through improved PPM.

Optimized project intake, approval, and prioritization processes lead to a high PPM maturity, which will improve the successful delivery and throughput of your projects, resource utilization, business alignment, and stakeholder satisfaction ((Source: BCG/PMI).

A double bar graph is depicted to show high PPM maturity yields measurable benefits. It covers 4 categories: Management for individual projects, financial performance, strategy implementation, and organizational agility.

Measure your success through the following metrics:

  • Reduced turnaround time between project requests and initial scoping
  • Number of project proposals with articulated benefits
  • Reduction in “off-the-grid” projects
  • Team satisfaction and workplace engagement
  • PPM stakeholder satisfaction score from business stakeholders: see Info-Tech’s PPM Customer Satisfaction Diagnostics

$44,700: In the past 12 months, Info-Tech clients have reported an average measured value of $44,700 from undertaking a guided implementation of this research.

Add your own organization-specific goals, success criteria, and metrics by following the steps in the blueprint.

Case Study: Financial Services PMO prepares annual planning process with Project Value Scorecard Development Tool

CASE STUDY

Industry: Financial Services

Source: Info-Tech Client

Challenge

PMO plays a diverse set of roles, including project management for enterprise projects (i.e. PMI’s “Directive” PMO), standards management for department-level projects (i.e. PMI’s “Supportive” PMO), process governance of strategic projects (i.e. PMI’s “Controlling” PMO), and facilitation / planning / reporting for the corporate business strategy efforts (i.e. Enterprise PMO).

To facilitate the annual planning process, the PMO needed to develop a more data-driven and objective project intake process that implicitly aligned with the corporate strategy.

Solution

Info-Tech’s Project Value Scorecard tool was incorporated into the strategic planning process.

Results

The scorecard provided a simple way to list the competing strategic initiatives, objectively score them, and re-sort the results on demand as the leadership chooses to switch between ranking by overall score, project value, ability to execute, strategic alignment, operational alignment, and feasibility.

The Project Value Scorecard provided early value with multiple options for prioritized rankings.

A screenshot of the Project Value Scorecard is shown in the image.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”

Workshop

“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”

Consulting

“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization – project overview

1. Set Realistic Goals for Optimizing Process 2. Build New Optimized Processes 3. Integrate the New Processes into Practice
Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Define the criteria with which to determine project value.


2.1 Streamline intake to manage stakeholder expectations.

2.2 Set up steps of project approval to maximize strategic alignment while right-sizing the required effort.

2.3 Prioritize projects to maximize the value of the project portfolio within the constraint of resource capacity.

3.1 Pilot your intake, approval, and prioritization process to refine it before rollout.

3.2 Analyze the impact of organizational change through the eyes of PPM stakeholders to gain their buy-in.

Guided Implementations
  • Introduce Project Value Scorecard Development Tool and pilot Info-Tech’s example scorecard on your own backlog.
  • Map current project intake, approval, and prioritization process and key stakeholders.
  • Set realistic goals for process optimization.
  • Improve the management of stakeholder expectations with an optimized intake process.
  • Improve the alignment of the project portfolio to strategic objectives with an optimized approval process.
  • Enable resource capacity-constrained greenlighting of projects with an optimized prioritization process.
  • Create a process pilot strategy with supportive stakeholders.
  • Conduct a change impact analysis for your PPM stakeholders to create an effective communication strategy.
  • Roll out the new process and measure success.
Onsite Workshop

Module 1:

Refocus on Project Value to Set Realistic Goals for Optimizing Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Process

Module 2:

Examine, Optimize, and Document the New Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Process

Module 3:

Pilot, Plan, and Communicate the New Process and Its Required Organizational Changes

Phase 1 Outcome:
  • Draft project valuation criteria
  • Examination of current process
  • Definition of process success criteria
Phase 2 Outcome:
  • Documentation of new project intake, approval, and prioritization process
  • Tools and templates to aid the process
Phase 3 Outcome:
  • Process pilot plan
  • Organizational change communication plan

Workshop overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Workshop Day 1 Workshop Day 2 Workshop Day 3 Workshop Day 4 Workshop Day 5
Activities

Benefits of optimizing project intake and project value definition

1.1 Complete and review PPM Current State Scorecard Assessment

1.2 Define project value for the organization

1.3 Engage key PPM stakeholders to iterate on the scorecard prototype

Set realistic goals for process optimization

2.1 Map current intake, approval, and prioritization workflow

2.2 Enumerate and prioritize process stakeholders

2.3 Determine the current and target capability levels

2.4 Define the process success criteria and KPIs

Optimize project intake and approval processes

3.1 Conduct focused retrospectives for project intake and approval

3.2 Define project levels

3.3 Optimize project intake processes

3.4 Optimize project approval processes

3.5 Compose SOP for intake and approval

3.6 Document the new intake and approval workflow

Optimize project prioritization process plan for a process pilot

4.1 Conduct focused retrospective for project prioritization

4.2 Estimate available resource capacity

4.3 Pilot Project Intake and Prioritization Tool with your project backlog

4.4 Compose SOP for prioritization

4.5 Document the new prioritization workflow

4.6 Discuss process pilot

Analyze stakeholder impact and create communication strategy

5.1 Analyze stakeholder impact and responses to impending organization change

5.2 Create message canvas for at-risk change impacts and stakeholders

5.3 Set course of action for communicating change

Deliverables
  1. PPM Current State Scorecard
  2. Project Value Scorecard prototype
  1. Current intake, approval, and prioritization workflow
  2. Stakeholder register
  3. Intake process success criteria
  1. Project request form
  2. Project level classification matrix
  3. Proposed project deliverables toolkit
  4. Customized intake and approval SOP
  5. Flowchart for the new intake and approval workflow
  1. Estimated resource capacity for projects
  2. Customized Project Intake and Prioritization Tool
  3. Customized prioritization SOP
  4. Flowchart for the new prioritization workflow
  5. Process pilot plan
  1. Completed Intake and Prioritization Impact Analysis Tool
  2. Communication strategy and plan

Phase 1

Set Realistic Goals for Optimizing Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Process

Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

9.5/10
Overall Impact

$72,204
Average $ Saved

27
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Set realistic goals for optimizing project intake, approval, and prioritization process
  • Call 1: Introduce Project Value Scorecard Development Tool and pilot Info-Tech’s example scorecard on your own backlog.
  • Call 2: Map current project intake, approval, and prioritization process and key stakeholders.
  • Call 3: Set realistic goals for process optimization.

Guided Implementation 2: Build an optimized project intake, approval, and prioritization process
  • Call 1: Improve the management of stakeholder expectations with an optimized intake process.
  • Call 2: Improve the alignment of the project portfolio to strategic objectives with an optimized approval process.
  • Call 3: Enable resource capacity-constrained greenlighting of projects with an optimized prioritization process.

Guided Implementation 3: Integrate the new optimized processes into practice
  • Call 1: Create a process pilot strategy with supportive stakeholders.
  • Call 2: Conduct a change impact analysis for your PPM stakeholders to create an effective communication strategy.
  • Call 3: Roll out the new process and measure success.

Authors

Travis Duncan

Barry Cousins

David Lee

Contributors

  • Kiron Bondale, PMP, PMI - RMP, Senior Project Portfolio & Change Management Professional
  • Scot Ganshert, Portfolio Group Manager, Larimer County, CO
  • Joanne Pandya, IT Project Manager, NYPIUA
  • Jim Tom, CIO, Public Health Ontario
  • Garrett McDaniel, Business Analyst II – Information Technology, City of Boulder, CO
  • 6 anonymous company contributors
Visit our IT Cost Optimization Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019