This series of papers has been developed from our work in upgrading TenStep's PortfolioStep™. For more information on TenStep's internal consulting methodology, please visit http://

Published here January, 2008.

PART 4 | Tips on Step 5 - Prioritize the Work (Prioritization)
Ranking the Portfolio Components | Resolving Ranking Issues 
Tips on Step 6 - Balance and Optimize the Portfolio (Balancing)
Techniques That Help | Tips on Step 7 - Authorize the Work (Authorization) | PART 6

In this Part 5 we will cover:

Tips on Step 5 - Prioritize the Work (Prioritization)

Key Assumption

Portfolio management makes a key assumption that there is more work, more projects, requested than the organization can execute in the prevailing year because of its limited resources. So, during the Selection process, some of the initially proposed work was scaled back or cut altogether. However, often that initial cut is not nearly deep enough to allow for all of the remaining work to fit within the available funding and/or the capacity of the available resources.

The Prioritization step is where you make the decisions that will ultimately help determine what work that gets authorized. Even so, some of the work may still be cut during this process, though that is not the primary purpose. Rather, the primary purpose is to make sure there is enough information available to conduct a prioritization. After all the remaining work is prioritized, and balanced, the Authorization process will allow you to control the work that gets funded based on up-to-date budget and resource considerations.

Theoretically, of course, if there was enough funding and resource capacity available, all of the work that comes into the Prioritization step could be authorized. Nevertheless, progressive authorization would still be necessary to level resource consumption throughout the year. The Prioritization process provides the basis for these decisions. Remember also, that new and urgent initiatives may surface during the year that would preempt some other work lower on the priority list. Consequently some of the lowest priority work will almost certainly not be authorized in the current year.

xxx  PART 4

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