The Prioritization Practice

The Story: 

We’re sitting in the conference room of the president of a large health insurance company, with all of his senior managers, including the CIO.  They have just completed a prioritization exercise on the entire IT development portfolio, and have understood for the first time that there are a number of projects in the portfolio which will produce little value to the business, representing over a third of the development budget.  The following conversation ensued:

President to CIO:   Are we working on any of these "bad" projects? 

CIO:  Of course, we’re working on them all.  That’s what we do. They were all approved by the managers in this room. 

President:  Anybody here disagree with our assessments on these projects?

(Silence in the room)

President:  How much do we save if we stop?

CIO:  $25 million.

President:  Then stop.

The Result:

In that moment, the management team returned $25 million in capital to the company for other uses…and not one senior manager complained that he wasn’t going to get what he needed from IT.  How is this possible?

By instituting a business-based and business-manager driven prioritization process, and applying it to all projects equally, across the entire corporation, the management team was able to choose the best projects for the company, and reach across-the-board consensus on priorities.

For more details on how to do this, read about the NIE Prioritization Approach.

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