Tame the Project Backlog

Take charge of your backlog of unstarted projects.

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If you are a PMO or IT department that does not actively manage its project backlog, you are at risk of:

  • Strained stakeholder relations.
  • Diminishing returns on project backlog investments.
  • Over-allocation of resources.

Disciplined project backlog management can enable:

  • Improved stakeholder relations.
  • Better rate of return on your project backlog investments.
  • More even workloads.

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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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Module 1: Create a Project Backlog Battle Plan

The Purpose

  • Gauge the manageability of your project backlog in its current state.
  • Calculate the total cost of your project backlog investments.
  • Determine the root causes that contribute to the unmanageability of your project backlog.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the organizational need for more disciplined backlog management.
  • Visibility into the costs incurred by the project backlog.
  • An awareness of the sources that feed the growth of the project backlog and make it a challenge to maintain.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Calculate the sunk and marginal costs that have gone into your project backlog.
  • The total estimated cost of the project backlog.
1.2 Estimate the throughput of backlog items.
  • A project backlog return-on-investment score.
1.3 Survey the root causes of your project backlog.
  • A project backlog root cause analysis.

Module 2: Execute a Near-Term Project Backlog Cleanse

The Purpose

  • Identify the most organizationally appropriate goals for your backlog cleanse.
  • Pinpoint those items that warrant immediate removal from the backlog and establish a game plan for putting a bullet in them.
  • Communicate backlog decisions with stakeholders in a way that minimizes friction and resistance. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An effective, achievable, and organizationally right-sized approach to cleansing the backlog.
  • Criteria for cleanse outcomes and a protocol for carrying out the near-term cleanse.
  • A project sponsor outreach plan to help ensure that decisions made during your near-term cleanse stick. 

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Establish roles and responsibilities for the near-term cleanse.
  • Clear accountabilities to ensure the backlog is effectively minimized and outcomes are communicated effectively.
2.2 Determine cleanse scope.
  • Clearly defined and achievable goals.
2.3 Develop backlog prioritization criteria.
  • Effective criteria for cleansing the backlog of zombie projects and maintaining projects that are of strategic and operational value.
2.4 Prepare a communication strategy.
  • A communication strategy to minimize stakeholder friction and resistance.

Module 3: Ensure Long-Term Project Backlog Manageability

The Purpose

  • Ensure ongoing backlog manageability.
  • Make sure the executive layer is aware of the ongoing status of the backlog when making project decisions.
  • Customize a best-practice toolkit to help keep the project backlog useful. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A list of pending projects that is minimal, maintainable, and of high value.
  • Executive engagement with the backlog to ensure intake and approval decisions are made with a view of the backlog in mind.
  • A backlog management tool and processes for ongoing manageability. 

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Develop a project backlog management operating model.
  • An operating model to structure your long-term strategy around.
3.2 Configure a project backlog management solution.
  • A right-sized management tool to help enable your processes and executive visibility into the backlog.
3.3 Assign roles and responsibilities for your long-term project backlog management processes.
  • Defined accountabilities for executing project backlog management responsibilities.
3.4 Customize a project backlog management operating plan.
  • Clearly established processes for how items get in and out of the backlog, as well as for ongoing backlog review.
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