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One of the biggest challenges for present day project managers is managing and prioritizing projects when more than one team or department is involved. This is especially true for larger organizations where there are global teams or remote locations. While this has always been an important consideration, cross-team project prioritization has gained additional significance in recent years as more organizations have moved to a matrix reporting structure, and as project managers are increasingly expected to manage multiple projects at once. If you are spending too much of your day trying to juggle a collection of competing projects, these tips can help you set priorities and keep stakeholders happy across the entire organization.

Prioritizing Projects

Use the Right Tools
While using project management software may once have been a luxury, it is now an essential part of every project manager’s job. No PM, especially at the enterprise level, can hope to manage projects and set priorities across multiple teams or departments without a suite of sophisticated project management tools. Clarizen provides broad portfolio management capabilities and in-depth reporting tools that can help managers gain a clear view of project needs, deadlines and resource availability across the entire organization—or beyond when working and collaborating with partners, vendors or contractors.

Incorporate Input from Senior Leaders
Ultimately, project priorities should be determined by the organization’s strategy and long-term goals. While this doesn’t mean that project managers can expect C-level executives to weigh in on project-by-project decisions, PMs should understand the company’s high-level priorities and how those priorities relate to the projects on their plate. Department directors and other senior leaders should always be consulted on decisions that involve accelerating, postponing or canceling projects.

Use Current Information
When prioritizing projects, a project manager needs to have a clear view of the current state of each one. A project that was in crisis last week might have reached an important milestone and gotten back on track, while a project that was running smoothly a week ago might be falling behind schedule today. As a project manager, you need real-time information on your projects in order to determine where resources should be focused. Here again, Clarizen provides essential reporting and tracking tools to help you make an accurate assessment of each project.

Encourage Collaboration
Once you have evaluated your projects and completed your project management prioritization, encourage team members to collaborate with each other and with members of other teams. Breaking down silos between projects and departments allows employees and vendors to take advantage of each other’s’ insights and accomplishments, making everyone more efficient and productive. Clarizen’s cloud-based tools are ideal for cross-team collaboration, helping build connections between teams in different business units or locations.

Clarizen delivers best-in-class project and portfolio management solutions for organizations in a wide range of industries. If you’d like to set priorities and keep your projects on track, Clarizen’s project management solutions can help.

Helena Bachar
Helena Bachar, Product Director