Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Give yourself the voice to say “no” (or “not yet”) to new projects.

Onsite Workshop

The risks associated with poor or informal intake processes include:

  • Portfolio dominated by off-the-grid initiatives.
  • Resources assigned to low-value projects.
  • An ever-growing project backlog.
  • Strained relations between stakeholders and the PMO.

The benefits of optimized intake processes include:

  • Alignment of the portfolio with business goals.
  • Resources assigned to high-value projects.
  • Better throughput of projects through the portfolio.
  • Strengthened stakeholder relations.

Module 1: Make the Case for Optimizing Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

The Purpose

  • Build the case for optimizing intake, approval, and prioritization.
  • Establish a preliminary roadmap for aligning your portfolio with high-value projects that you can deliver.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Communicate the costs and benefits of renovating your current processes.
  • An understanding of Info-Tech’s framework for intake success.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Review intake and prioritization artifacts, project and resource lists, and a list of items currently in the backlog.
  • An overview of current pain points and a high-level understanding of what needs to be retained, optimized, or abandoned from current processes and artifacts.
1.2 Map existing processes to Info-Tech’s framework.
  • A strategy for meeting success criteria.
1.3 Complete a business case to present to your stakeholders.
  • A completed measured value assessment.

Module 2: Assess Needs

The Purpose

  • Analyze current state to identify core pain points and opportunities.
  • Identify key stakeholders in current processes and define their roles and responsibilities.
  • Define target state within Info-Tech’s intake capability framework.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Obtain perspective on areas of waste and areas in need of greatest improvement.
  • Involve the right stakeholders, at the right time, in the optimization process.
  • Establish intake discipline and best practices that are grounded in actual project capacity.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Perform and/or analyze Project Intake Needs Assessment.
  • Current state analysis based on Project Intake Needs Assessment.
2.2 Do a SWOT analysis.
  • An overview of current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
2.3 Map current intake workflow.
  • An analysis of inefficiencies and deficiencies in current intake workflow.
2.4 Determine goals and success criteria.
  • A roadmap for successful optimization, including objectives and timelines.

Module 3: Streamline Intake to Control Stakeholder Expectations

The Purpose

  • Identify and map project sources.
  • Establish an effective triage process for project requests.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A centralized intake workflow that fosters collaboration between sponsors and the PMO.
  • An appropriate request follow-up process that sets realistic expectations for stakeholders. 

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Perform a start-stop-continue exercise with the team.
  • A clearly defined scope for intake renovation.
3.2 Review and configure request form.
  • A customized request form with the right amount of friction for your organization.
3.3 Establish an optimized intake workflow.
  • A PPM triage process that effectively informs requests forward.
3.4 Pilot workflow to confirm viability.

Module 4: Align Approval and Prioritization with Strategic Objectives and Available Resource Capacity

The Purpose

  • Establish suitable stage gates for the approval process.
  • Create a protocol that ensures a high ROI relative to the time and effort spent developing and assessing business cases.
  • Determine the appropriate steps in a progressive prioritization process for your organization. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clearly defined expectations for what “approval” means at each gate and what is required of sponsors.
  • The assurance that the time spent developing business cases translates into project success.
  • An effective cadence for prioritization to help ensure your efforts are always aligned with the highest value priorities.  

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Establish an approval and prioritization scorecard.
  • Approval and prioritization scorecard.
4.2 Review and configure business case template.
  • A customized business case template with the right amount of friction for your organization.
4.3 Define approval stage gates and authority rights.
  • An approval flow with specific outcomes defined at each gate.
4.4 Determine prioritization cadence.
  • Detailed steps for who is responsible for what, and when they’re responsible for it, in the prioritization process.4. Detailed steps for who is responsible for what, and when they’re responsible for it, in the prioritization process.
4.5 Pilot the workflow using Info-Tech’s tools and templates.

Module 5: Communicate Optimized Processes

The Purpose

  • Define roles and responsibilities for implementation.
  • Identify potential types and sources of skepticism, sabotage, and enthusiasm.
  • Develop a communications document to help communicate new processes to stakeholders. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clearly established team roles for rolling out new processes as well as for the ongoing triage of new requests.
  • Target specific stakeholders and user groups with unique messages to help ensure adoption.
  • Begin developing a communications strategy that appeals to and accommodates various points of view.  

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Solidify the request team.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities.
5.2 Proactively identify potential skeptics in order to effectively engage them early and address their concerns.
  • Objections-Handling Template to document potential resistance to the new processes and the PMO’s response.
5.3 Document standard operating procedures for intake, approval, and prioritization in Info-Tech’s Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization Communications Template.
  • Communications template that will help enforce discipline on sponsors and other project sources.

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Onsite 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 onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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