CofEe Club 47 – Project reprioritisation
COVID is a game changer for organisational strategies and the best laid plans have had to be revised. With the next financial year looming, organisations are all having to adjust and this means reprioritisation on a vast scale; what previously might have seemed critical may now be irrelevant and what was previously hardly considered becomes an necessity. Organisations and their managers have to make choices based on investing in the relative priorities. All this means that right now, and for the next quarter project reprioritisation is a hot topic.
As ever we want to make the CofEe club as relevant as it can be to the majority of the audience and there are three potential sub-themes that we could explore. What we’d like is your view on what the priority order of the topics constituting these sub-themes would be.
Topic one – Avoiding robbing Peter to pay Paul – urgency versus importance
One response that many organisations automatically lean into faced with an emergency, is to grab a competent and capable project manager from whatever work they were on and deploy them against the crisis. After all, because of their competence they are the ones likely to come up with a working solution and so, on that basis, a reasonable choice. However what is easily overlooked is the adverse impact on the work that they were already on (which, often, given that their talent was assigned to it, is very important in its own right) which will at least slow if not fail.
Sub-theme one will explore this behaviour and some potential practical tools to address the impacts of reprioritisation of project managers’ workloads.
Topic two – Aligning emergent strategy with corporate ambition – masters of our own destiny?
Textbooks have the perfect excuse for tactical prioritisation; its called ‘emergent strategy’, the difference between your deliberate strategy and what external forces have compelled you to do. External factors and Force Majeure do, undoubtedly force a high degree of tactical response (witness the current situation) but do we help our project prioritisation cause by declaring what results as ‘emergent strategy’? Or is there a cleverer approach that could be adopted? For example, how much thought is given to different tactical options on the basis of their alignment with where our organisation deliberate strategy says we wants to go?
Sub-theme two will therefore discuss and consider the adaptation of prioritisation mechanisms in line with corporate strategic ambition; what factors and weighting mechanisms could be employed and what would the advantages be.
Topic three – Resource allocation and matching – does project reprioritisation actually give us the biggest bang for our buck?
MoSCoW prioritisation is familiar to most of us; am explicit recognition of the disparity between projects’ demand and supply within organisations. As project reprioritisation takes place MoSCoW or similar models will be deployed to determine which work is favoured and project funds and managers will be assigned accordingly. But regardless of the crudeness of the tool there is a frequently ‘missed-trick’ that might be worth exploring; Ensuring the resource, be it financial or human is aligned with the need of the project offers a, commonly untapped, opportunity for efficiencies; careful management of these can represent a significant win. For example ensuring the scope of a mandatory project is constrained to the bare minimum by low cost allocation (don’t sanction larger budgets on marginal gains) not only stretches the resource further but allows for more value-adding work to be done.
Sub-theme three will therefore examine and explore techniques and tools for aligning the constraints (whether financial or human) with the demands to achieve the optimum supply.
Your assistance needed!
In all three instances we expect to provide and engage in stimulating debates and case study or scenario based analysis that will allow you to bring your experience to the table and to learn from others’ experiences. Please do let us know what your order of precedence for these three topics is so that we can provide a highly tailored and valuable session for you.