A key management challenge today is juggling multiple projects in the face of shifting priorities and overcommitted teams. Studies show that multi-tasking and context switching lead to suboptimal performance and execution, but is single tasking enough? In order for single tasking to be effective, people must know which tasks bring the most value to the organization, a deceptively simple problem. Common strategies, such as assigning revenue to tasks or prioritizing by ROI, are difficult to use in practice and ignore a crucial factor: the value of time.
"Value-based scheduling" is a new approach that integrates product value information with engineering and project information to assign a "cost of delay" to every task in an organization. Using this technique, individuals' tasks can be automatically prioritized by value so that everyone knows which tasks have the biggest impact on the organization. This technique can also be extended to scheduling an entire project portfolio by value, integrating marketing and engineering updates automatically. The resulting schedules are load-leveled and have realistic completion dates that maximize the value of the project portfolio.