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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Project Selection and Modeling in MS Project Professional

Thanks for returning to my blog! As the title indicates, this blog entry deals with project selection and modeling in Project Professional, an area of portfolio management usually reserved for Project Server.

It doesn’t matter if the version is 2007 or 2010. What does matter is that the projects in consideration have enough factual information known about them to align them to the to the business of the enterprise. These are the business drivers. They make it easier to prioritize and select projects for execution.

In the figure below, four projects are to be evaluated, one  project entered per line. In this example the business drivers are represented in columns 5 – 7 by custom fields and lookup tables.  The data in each lookup table identifies four levels of alignment for each business driver from “None” to “High”. The stronger the number, the better the alignment. The “Strategic Strength” column is a custom field that sums columns 5 – 7 for each project. The “Strategic Priority” column is a custom field and formula that assesses the “Strategic Strength” of each project and assigns each project a  calculated priority and an indicator. Think of all of these fields as a tool to quantify the value of each project to the organization.

Custom_Fields_for_Business_Drivers_and_Evaluation

Once the priorities are identified for every project they can be grouped in preparation for scheduling and resource forecasting. An example grouping is seen in the figure below.

Project_Priority_Grouped

In subsequent postings, I’ll  continue this discussion to include resource forecasting, scheduling and how rules bind these topics.

Got questions? Send me an email!