A project prioritization framework is an analytic model (a conceptual structure) that facilitates the evaluation and prioritization of projects. According to mathematical theory, projects should be prioritized based on benefits and costs. Thus, a prioritization framework specifies, among other things, the types of benefits that may be claimed for projects and how those benefits may be measured, how project benefits and costs are compared to determine priorities, and how projects are selected to maximize the value of the project portfolio.

If you've got an existing project priority system, are you encountering these types of problems: Inability to capture "intangible" benefits? Double counting of benefits? "Funny money benefits" (claims without substance)? Difficulty attributing benefits to interdependent projects? The problem is an ill-defined project prioritization framework.

Formal methods, including value modeling and multi-attribute utility analysis, are available for creating prioritization frameworks that are well-defined, comprehensive, and avoid the above sorts of errors and biases. The methods may be applied in a workshop setting, enabling stakeholders to collaborate in the design of the framework, helping to ensure full consideration of issues and to build consensus. Once established, the prioritization framework provides specifications for creating, selecting and configuring PPM software.