5 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Project Approval Process

Many organizations have a Project Board that approves programs and projects resulting in a project portfolio. The Board chooses projects and programs that align and support the organization's mission, values, goals, and strategies. Today, let's look at five ways to improve your project approval process.

Project Approval Process

Project Approval Process

1

Create a Project Board

Create a Project Board or Project Steering Team to approve projects. Project sponsors submit their projects to the board for approval. Better yet, have the project sponsors make brief presentations to the board and respond to questions.

2

Define Selection Criteria

The Project Board should define the project selection criteria. Defining and communicating the criteria saves time. Project sponsors will not waste time on projects that will not make the cut. For example, selection criteria might include: 1) strategic importance, 2) regulatory compliance, 3) financial viability, and 4) business and technical flexibility to accommodate future changes, to name a few.

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PMI Pulse research shows actively engaged sponsors are by far the top driver of projects meeting their original goals and business intent.

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3

Engage Project Sponsors

The most senior individual in an organizations should ensure the project sponsors are actively engaged. Absentee sponsors won't cut it. Project sponsors can engage appropriate stakeholders early in the project initiation process to obtain their input.

4

Have Project Sponsors Submit a Project Charter

Have the project sponsors submit a project charters to the Project Board. The charter is a brief document defining the business case, project problem definition, goals, deliverables, constraints, assumptions, stakeholders, team members, and top risks.

Improve Your Project Approval Process

5

Give Initial Approvals Contingent on Subsequent Reviews

What should we do with projects that we lack enough information to approve? More discovery needs to occur.


In some cases, the Project Board may approve a project contingent on subsequent reviews after the product and project scope have been defined.


The project scope management processes include collecting requirements, defining a detailed description of the project and product, and decomposing the project into deliverables. The scoping process is a journey of discovery.


As the project team analyzes the project, the project sponsor can present the challenges and opportunities to the Project Board at Go/No Go Milestones.

Pass It On

If you like these suggestions but lack the authority to implement them, please forward this article to the individual or group who can.