Program Manager’s Guide to Prioritization: Strategies for Success

Thaisa Fernandes
Published in
4 min readMar 29


Photo by Phil Desforges on Unsplash

Who never heard this question, can you tell me how you prioritize? Prioritization is the process of organizing and allocating resources in a way that maximizes productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Prioritization involves assessing and ranking tasks, projects, programs, or goals based on their relative importance and urgency, and then focusing on the most critical ones first. Prioritization is crucial in both personal and professional contexts.

We’re going to list some strategies that can help you prioritize your tasks effectively:

Determine your goals:

Start by defining your short-term and long-term goals. This will help you understand what tasks are essential to achieve your objectives.

Create a to-do list:

Make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed. Then, rank them based on their importance and urgency. Tasks that are both important and urgent should be given the highest priority.

Use the 80/20 rule:

The 80/20 rule states that 20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your results. Identify the 20% of tasks that will have the most significant impact and focus on those first.

Break down larger tasks:

Large tasks can be overwhelming, making it difficult to prioritize them effectively. Break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks that can be completed in a shorter amount of time.

Be flexible:

Priorities can change quickly, so it’s essential to be flexible and adaptable. Be prepared to adjust your priorities as needed based on changes in circumstances or new information.

Avoid multitasking:

Multitasking can make it difficult to prioritize effectively. Instead, focus on one task at a time and complete it before moving on to the next.

Say no:

Learn to say no to tasks that are not essential or that can be delegated to others. This will help you focus on the most critical tasks and avoid wasting time on less important ones.

Prioritization is a critical skill that can help you achieve your goals and maximize your productivity. Program managers are responsible for overseeing multiple projects or programs within an organization. Prioritization is a critical aspect of their role, as they must allocate resources, including time, money, and people power, to ensure that each project is completed successfully.

The following are some approaches that program managers can use to prioritize effectively:

Understand the business objectives:

You should have a deep understanding of the organization’s business objectives and goals. Prioritize projects that are aligned with the company’s overall strategy.

Assess project importance:

Assess each project’s importance based on its impact on the business, stakeholders, and customers. Projects that have the potential to generate revenue, improve customer satisfaction, or reduce costs should be given a higher priority.

Evaluate project complexity:

Consider the complexity of each project, including the number of stakeholders involved, the level of risk, and the technical requirements. More complex projects may require more resources, which can impact other projects, so they should be prioritized accordingly.

Determine project dependencies:

Identify project dependencies and prioritize projects that are critical to the success of other projects. For example, if one project is a prerequisite for another, it should be given a higher priority.

Assess available resources:

Consider the availability of resources, including people, money, and time, when prioritizing projects. Projects that require fewer resources may be prioritized over projects that require more resources.

Involve stakeholders:

Involve stakeholders in the prioritization process. This can help ensure that everyone’s needs are considered, and the most critical projects are prioritized.

Continuously monitor and adjust priorities:

Continuously monitor project progress and adjust priorities as needed. If a project is not progressing as planned, or if new information becomes available, priorities may need to be revised.

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Thaisa Fernandes
Editor for

Product & Program Management | Global Partnerships | Host @ Latinx in Power Podcast | Book Co-Author @ Mulheres de Produto | Vegan