Juggling School for Project Managers

By Rudolf Melik

If you work in a project-based environment, you probably feel like one of those juggling clowns at the circus: trying to keep your ball, your baton, and your flaming torch in the air at the same time, all while maneuvering your unicycle around the ring. Focus too much on one object and you risk dropping one of the others—or even taking a tumble. Project management can be a lot like this. But if you fail to give one project the attention or funding it needs, the consequences can be much more serious than a dropped ball, especially when your higher-ups find out money has been wasted on an unimportant or failed project.

A dearth of facts and unbiased analysis lead executives to make poor decisions when selecting new projects or assigning resources to existing ones. The result? Unmet business goals and lost opportunities. Bad project management decisions not only cause the misuse of valuable funds, they create an environment where strategic projects take a backseat while certain “pet” projects are given higher priority.

Great news: organizations don't have to manage their projects in such a circuslike manner. The solution is project prioritization and selection. By using this methodology, you can organize and manage projects as a group or as a portfolio at a business or departmental level.

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