Determining Whether to Fund Your Next Agile Project

Ken Whitaker of Leading Software Maniacs (LSM) has more than 25 years of software development executive leadership and training experience in a variety of technology roles and industries. He has led commercial software teams at Software Publishing (remember Harvard Graphics?), Data General, embedded systems software companies, and enterprise software suppliers. Ken is an active PMI member, Project Management Professional (PMP) certified, and a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Sources for LSM's material come from case studies, personal leadership experience, the PMI Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and Ken's leadership books: Managing Software Maniacs, Principles of Software Development Leadership and I'm Not God, I'm Just a Project Manager.

Too many projects, and not enough money or resources to do them all! We need to make prioritized decisions to determine which projects to fund. Chances are that you are in a software leadership role and can’t make the final determination alone; but your expertise will certainly be called upon to help make that determination. This article presents tips that can assist you in making those “fateful” project decisions.

Help! I’m In Danger of Making Things Too Complicated
A friend of mine teaches an advanced project management class as part of a master’s degree program at a major university. He was asked this question from one of his students:

“I am working on setting up a more streamlined project management process for a brand new IT department. We have corporate processes and tools that we can use, but I need to right-size them for our department and our typical project size. I was wondering if you had any examples of scorecards you use to select which projects to pursue that you would be able to share with me? I am looking for something beyond NPV and IRR--something that compares risk, timing, alignment with strategy, etc.”

In my humble opinion, the key word used in her request is “streamlined”. Let’s help this student out!

Project Justification Approaches
There’s probably three approaches to…

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"I am not young enough to know everything."

- Oscar Wilde