Effective prioritization in Project

Feeling trapped between demanding clients and looming project deadlines is a common struggle.

How do you navigate through prioritization challenges within your projects?

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I’m not sure I understand the context you’re trying to build. And asking myself these questions first…before jumping to any conclusions which are out of context.

Which project are we talking about(testing, development)? Internal or external? Built in-house or through consultancy? Are you a consultant, contractor or internal employee? How long is your contract? Is there a single project or multiple concurrent ones? In which ones you’re involved and to what degree? What competing demands do you get? Are you a manager or testing or a tester being managed? Which things are under your control, and which are under your manager? What is a ‘project’ to you, some companies work on products for many development iterations for years never having a ‘project’ ? Who’s giving prioritization and for what? Who are the ‘clients’ and how much do they matter to you in the role you are in? What is the testing mission? … and so on.

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My guiding tool for prioritisation is the risk log, which should be based on what the relevant stakeholders consider to be the most important characteristics of their product.

Quality means different things to different people, so without some sort of quality based risk tool I’m not sure how you are going to be able to prioritise.

It definitely is not in your client’s interest to leave you with no guidance, because what they will get is rushed work and poor quality testing.

If you are filling in the gaps for your client and prioritising what you think is important you are heading for stormy waters.

I’m the only tester within the small team of developers and this is our approach:

  • Along with the whole team, I take part in the weekly online meeting with the customer to make sure to hear what is important to them
  • I frequently discuss the next steps and important features with our team lead
  • I keep the team lead informed about the risks I identify and we navigate through prioritization challenges as a team