The Winchester Services Group

Consultants to Management for Information Technology

Assessing IT Strengths and Weaknesses
Developing an IT Strategy and Plan
Establishing the IT Project Office
Turning Around an Ineffective IT Function
Measuring and Managing IT Performance
Providing  Interim CIO  Services
Creating the CIO Dashboard
Establishing the IT Marketing Function
Ensuring Effective IT Governance
Deriving value from contracting and Outsourcing

Managing the Project Portfolio



  Seminar Description:

What is to be done when the business’s reach exceed its grasp, i.e. when the sum of identified IT opportunities, qualified projects, and existing system development efforts exceed the available IT resources required for their simultaneous pursuit?  This Seminar provides practical, proven methods, tools and techniques for rigorously and methodically evaluating and ranking proposed and existing initiatives and arranging them into a practical, consensus-based, time-phased plan for proceeding.

Attendees learn how to evaluate projects in a consistent manner that allows for comparison, ranking and scheduling in a multiple-project environment.  Evaluation criteria considered include: return on investment, technological risk, business impact and need.  Techniques and tools for evaluating projects against multiple criteria are explored, discussed and applied in practical exercises.  Attendees learn important strategies for involving a broad cross-section of the organization in the process in order to achieve user consensus and management commitment to resulting project prioritization.  Methods for subsequently engineering projects into an IT long range project plan are described.  Finally, attendees learn how to employ the same techniques used for initially evaluating and ranking projects to refresh and maintains the plan’s viability in perpetuity.

The seminar features hands-on exercises wherein attendee results can be compared to the actual results developed by organizations that were faced with the planning dilemmas presented.  While several different organizations’ prioritization and planning results are presented to demonstrate the diversity and variety of challenges and solutions possible, the two day seminar features a recurring case study of a single organization that was faced with having to prioritize over a hundred identified IT opportunities into a multi-year, consensus-based IT plan.  Attendees struggle with the issues that confronted this real-life organization and learn how each prioritization, planning, funding and process challenge was met and resolved.

  Who Should Attend:

Representatives from organizations faced with an extensive list of IT opportunities, initiatives and projects in their development pipeline wanting to enhance the methods they use for evaluating, maintaining, and adding new opportunities into their IT application portfolio.


Representatives from organizations engaged in IT strategic planning that are interested in adding rigor to the ranking and prioritization steps of their planning process.

Ř Attendees should have a basic understanding of the nature and components of IT projects and a familiarity with IT planning concepts and the planning process.  Attendee experience working with IT and user management on selecting and ranking projects for implementation would be advantageous but is not mandatory.  

Attendees should be comfortable working/participating in small groups on tasks and in subsequently preparing and presenting the results of small group or individual analysis to larger audiences.


Attendees should be comfortable working/participating in small groups on tasks and in subsequently preparing and presenting the results of small group or individual analysis to larger audiences.

  Seminar Outline:  
  I. Introduction and Course Overview  
    a. The importance of a multi-criteria approach to ranking IT projects  
    b. Introduction to the Bureau of Electricity  
  II. Estimating the Impact of a Project on Business Strategy  
    a. Presentation on estimating impact  
    b. Exercise 1 -- Evaluating a project's impact
    c. Review of the Bureau of Electricity's evaluation of impact  
  III. Using Return on Investment to Prioritize Projects
    a. Techniques for estimating project cost
    b. Estimating project benefits
    c. Evaluating financial return
    d. Exercise 2 -- Evaluating a project's financial benefit
    e. Review of the Bureau of Electricity's evaluation of financial benefits
  IV. Other Criteria for Ranking Projects
    a. Project risk and uncertainty
    b. Business need
    c. Intangibles
    d. Organization-specific criteria
  V. Multi-Criteria-Based Prioritization of Projects
a. Creating the prioritized list of projects
b. Techniques for gaining management commitment
c. Exercise 3 -- Ranking projects using multiple criteria
d. Review of the Bureau of Electricity's ranking of projects
e. Exercise 3A -- Re-ranking projects by weighting criteria
  VI. Engineering the IT Strategic Plan
    a. Precedent considerations
    b. Load balancing
    c. Risk mitigation
    d. Supply projects
    e. Systematizing
    f. Examples of systematized project plans and roadmaps
  VII. Funding the Engineered Plan
    a. Cost considerations
    b. Funding scenarios
    c. Exercise 4 -- Evaluating alternative scenarios
    d. Review of the Bureau of Electricity's scenarios
    e. Exercise 5 -- Participants' development of individual action plans
  VIII. Establishing the On-Going IT Strategic Planning Process
    a. Handling the insertion of new projects into the plan
    b. Periodic reviews and updates of the IT strategic plan
  IX. Seminar Summary and Close

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