Strategic Project Prioritization Worksheet


Quick Summary
An Excel template for analyzing and ranking project candidates under consideration for inclusion in a project portfolio. Rankings are based on the degree to which each project contributes to the organization’s overall goals and related strategies.


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What this is

A format for maintaining and evaluating a list of candidate projects vying for inclusion in your official approved portfolio of projects. Space is provided to record criteria testing the strategic value of a project, to capture other non-strategic but important criteria, and rate how well each project meets the criteria. Worksheet formulas automatically calculate the relative value of each project based on the fit across all the selection criteria. Extra columns are included for capturing related project sizing information, including economic return and resource utilization estimates -- useful for trade-off decisions among high-ranking projects.


Why it's useful

Organizations can take months identifying the criteria used to screen project candidates, in order to assess which projects will be viewed as the highest priorities and receive the commitment to launch. It's easy to get lost in the weeds, and spend more time on the criteria than the project assessments.

This worksheet provides an out-of-the-box strategic project screening system. The pre-selected categories are designed to help you develop and enforce a discipline for measuring which projects directly support the unique goals and strategies of your organization. Screening criteria that are not strongly focused on the business may guide organizational effort to projects that keep the organization busy and provide some value, but don't necessarily support the organization's overarching strategies and goals.


How to use it

In preparation for using the worksheet:

  • Determine the organization's top level goals and potential strategies for meeting those goals.
  • Use our companion guideline Setting Strategic Project Selection Criteria to develop screening questions for determining whether or not -- or how well -- a project supports the organization's strategic goals.

Detailed instructions for using the worksheet are continued in the file.

About the Author
In 1982, K.C. Yelin founded ICS Group, a management-consulting firm that works with Fortune 100 market leaders to improve business execution. She was president of ICS Group through 1999 and authored their project portfolio management model and project leadership process. K.C.'s early career was in Information Technology, as CIO with the Service Bureau Company, an IBM subsidiary. More recently, she has served on the faculty of the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Business Administration. She currently heads Yelin Associates, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is an advisor to the Project Portfolio Management practice at ICS Group.

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Related Templates
Introduction to Project Portfolio Management 
A presentation template to help you make the case for portfolio management in your organization and explain what it really involves.

Setting Strategic Project Selection Criteria 
Typical strategic categories of project selection criteria, and a guideline for using these categories to screen candidate projects for your organization's portfolio.

Portfolio Data Collection Letter
Inventory projects proposed or in process throughout the organization, in order to establish a portfolio management process.

Ranked Project List 
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Opportunity Screening Worksheet 
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