Trying & testing a new prioritization method

Working in an agile environment means – always be open to new things.
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Trying & testing a new prioritization method

von Malte Lampart
Working in an agile environment means – always be open to new things. If it works: go ahead! If we fail: think of something better. Here's an example of the former!

In one of our last company-wide Open Spaces we discussed how to get project planning more transparent. Subsequently, colleagues from various departments formed a working group to explore the issue. Our goal was to put existing knowledge in the company to better use and make the process more transparent.

A number of different prioritization approaches for project planning were researched, presented and tested within our product department. The one that seemed most fitting to our company is a project prioritization method called ‘relative weight’ – with some minor adjustments to fit into our working culture.

The main goal of ‘relative weight’ is to evaluate economic and technical factors of projects early on. With an equal number of tech and business people who in join meetings discuss and vote for benefits, costs, penalties and dependencies of each project. Everyone can present projects and discuss it with the audience.

What you get in the end is a simple number – the relative weight estimation of a project – that can be sorted and compared with other projects. In the past week, we fully prioritized our "portfolio" wall on 2 days with a large participation from all departments. The whole thing was not only fun, but we also developed a mutual understanding of technical and non-technical aspects of our projects. Thanks again to all involved!  

Starting today (and until we come up with something better), a prioritization meeting will take place after our weekly portfolio board meeting. New projects will be assessed for the first time and existing projects can dynamically be re-evaluated when necessary. The event is open to everyone at the company and will improve the knowledge transfer!