Managing priorities effectively

Projects whose priorities are not managed well suffer from project 'drift.' This article contains an excerpt from Managing Software Development Projects (2nd ed., 1995, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.) and features a number of project problem scenarios and the lessons to be learned from each. Out of these lessons emerge four steps for effectively managing project priorities: 1) pinpoint the critical, high-priority problems, and make them visible to the team daily; 2) assign lead people to own high-priority problems to emphasize personal accountability; 3) commit to a definite course of action; and 4) review progress daily. Project leaders need to spend most of their time on solving the most important project problems and less on the least important ones.
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