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Making an ROI Worksheet December 6, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Project Management.

Do I build another Death Star, or a few more Star Destroyers, invade the rebel base on the planet of Pladoon, or do I upgrade our EMS (Empire Management System)?

Well the answer to the above are based on vision of the Empire, strategy, and ROI.

Periodically you should be holding a meet either once a month or once a quarter, and evaluating new projects that are being proposed vs what is already in the pipeline. You want projects that are aligned to the goals of the organization, but at the same time you want to prioritize on those that give you the biggest bang for the buck (aka ROI).

As a Project Manager, or Manager of the PMO Dept, when presenting the options you need to summarize all this in some cohesive manner that allows Executive management to quickly assess the options. They’re not going to have time to read all the thorough documents behind each proposed project.

This is especially true if you’re kicking off roadmap planning for the first time in your organization; so the goal here is to make decisions based on information vs a gut feel.

Enter the ROI Worksheet

Summarize all your Projects into the ROI Worksheet as exampled:

ROI Worksheet

* Click on above image to view

Use whatever columns give you actionable information to base a decision on. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Any return is just Potential at this point. After the project is complete you want to compare actual return vs the predicted/potential.
  • It’s ok if you’re at a stage in your Organization’s PMO where doing hardcore ROI analysis isn’t a strong skill yet. So if you don’t have hard numbers, use a 1-10 scoring system when needed. The idea is you need the ability to numerically compare one project vs another – even if some of that data is subjective.
  • Strategic Value will never be something you could compute, but it is an indicator of how well aligned the Project is to your Organization’s goals.
  • Ease of Actualization is important to consider. Even though a return is potentially high, if the Actualization of that Return requires extremely skilled management to pull it off, that’s something to consider. Likewise, some Projects have a return where the ROI is immediate and self actualization – which is very attractive as it doesn’t take much work to get it.

So whether you give a score by consensus, or through some formula, Executive Management can now sort Projects by score or filter for Projects that score a certain minimum amount.

Darth Sidious


1. passthebuck - December 7, 2007

Great post! I am a huge Star Wars fan and am currently developing my PM skills. Your blog speaks to me on so many levels!

2. Darth Sidious - December 9, 2007


3. ROI – Labor efficiency « Sith Sigma - December 19, 2007

[…] – Labor efficiency To follow up on “Making an ROI Worksheet”, let’s discuss projects that promise labor ROI by automating a manual […]

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