It might seem that purchasing PPM software is the easiest way to establish an effective project prioritization process. Wrong! The number one reason customers give for buying a PPM tool is project prioritization. Yet the emphasis of all but a very few of the many available PPM tools is not prioritization, it is governance, oversight, planning, collaboration, and related capabilities and features for supporting project management. According to one survey of PPM tool purchasers, nearly 90% reported their purchased tool failed to meet expectations.

To do prioritization correctly, prioritization logic needs to incorporate a model with analytics for quantifying project value, and the model structure must typically be customized for each client organization. But, vendors want to sell tools that work for virtually any customers with little if any customization. Therefore, rather than provide flexibility and best-practice analytics, most vendor tools employ simplistic scoring methods that can't produce accurate project prioritizations. They focus instead on other components of PPM.

As explained in my papers, you don't need an expensive tool to implement best-practice project prioritization, you can do it with Excel. If you know how to correctly prioritize projects, you can obtain much of the value available from PPM without having to pay for an expensive PPM tool. You still have the option of acquiring a vendor tool, but you can do so after gaining understanding and experience that will enable you to make an informed purchase.

For more information, see What Vendors Don't Want You to Know. The most detail is provided in my eBook, Choosing the Wrong Portfolio of Projects.