How does a company get the best return from the money it spends on projects? It’s a question that very many executives would like to know the answer to. Helping to find an answer to that question is one of the more important goals of Project Portfolio Management.
Like the source of the Nile, the start of portfolio management can be hard to locate. There is not yet a generally accepted initiation point for portfolio management, so let’s try and figure out where PPM might start in a perfect world.
If you are trying to set up project portfolio management, you will run smack into a unique workforce problem. Use these tasks in your WBS to help manage three sensitive groups that participate in projects to establish PPM.
Many organizations fail to recognize that they are driving significant change to a PM’s job--and even fewer do anything to try and make the transition a constructive one. Here, we look at portfolio management in terms of the impact on PMs--and offer some guidance on how to help ensure that those PMs are champions of the evolution rather than resistors.
Managing a portfolio can involve processes that are very different than project management processes. Project managers need to be prepared--understanding these three areas will lead to a better performing organization.
One expert's definition of a portfolio turns the bottom-up concept on its head, defining a portfolio as “the vehicle by which an organization achieves its goals and objectives.” In other words, the portfolio comes first, and the programs and projects are broken out from it. Let’s walk through it in a little more detail...
A project portfolio can contain almost anything. How you break down the portfolio can have a great impact on the business and the projects on hand. How can a PM break down the portfolio into manageable chunks of work?
Many organizations have benefited from a formal PPM process while others have been unable to develop productive PPM capabilities. The only real thing that matters is what approach to PPM will work best for your organization; the rest is just noise and distraction. Here is some guidance that you might find helpful in developing and/or honing your organization’s PPM function.
There is no silver bullet that will allow us to remove all uncertainty, but we can apply some business intelligence practices to the concept of annual planning to at least increase our confidence levels and reduce the risks around the decisions that we make.
Project portfolio management tools are becoming more widespread and more powerful, but are we fully leveraging them as well as we might? There could be some exciting things possible if we combine a PPM database with a BI tool.
We now look to PMOs to take more of an active role within the entire lifecycle. For that expanded role to be successful, the PMO needs to be more than simply the guide and controller for project execution; it needs to be accepted into a leadership role within the organization--partners with business units and accepted experts on portfolio execution.
Making good business decisions while managing a portfolio often comes down to gathering the proper data and creating useful business intelligence. Here's some advice on four critical stages of the process.
When projects are gathered together in a portfolio, decisions must be made about which ones have priority over the others. There are lessons to be learned in examining the wrong ways of determining a project’s priority.
With the ever increasing use of technology, how are processes impacted? Our writer feels that technology should be an overlay to the process work--we should start with a solid process and then look for ways that technology could make life easier in the execution of the process. But a colleague doesn't agree...
Organizations that take project governance for granted are headed for a fall. There is one area where governance seems to be failing in many organizations, and it's perhaps surprising--the PMO. That is incredibly dangerous, and here’s why...
One of the primary roles of the PMO is to provide a framework for ensuring proper governance over projects. Here we look at some of the obstacles and challenges facing the PMO governance function--and some tips for overcoming them.
The PMO must have an easy time of annual planning, right? It's a service function that provides resources based on the overall project portfolio, and the organization determines which projects to approve. Based on those decisions, the PMO knows how it needs to adjust its resource model. But life’s not quite that simple...
Call it application sprawl, application bloat or whatever you like, most companies that rely on applications could use a good old-fashioned spring cleaning to reassess and determine which apps in a company’s portfolio provide unequivocal value and which should make a polite exit.
Whatever the approach, mandate or processes adopted by each organization, you as the PM should be aware of the following best practices and ensure that they are adopted in one way or the other to guarantee your project’s financial transparency.
The value of PPM and the priorities people place within it have seen drastic changes to go along with the dynamism of the world over the last five years. Optimal realization of portfolio ROI is now a must just to simply stay alive, whereas before it was often just treated as a nice idea that a company could do to improve its business success.
As 2012 starts to become a distant memory and companies begin implementing their 2013 plans, one CEO has spent some time reflecting on the PPM trends of 2012 and how they will continue, amplify or decrease into the new year.
We've looked at the project selection process from the vantage point of an idea submitter. Now we will look at the process from the perspective of the decision makers--who are often left equally frustrated and confused.
Some managers view PPM as nothing more than high-level project management--a service function rather than a strategic support function. But PPM is more than just project management with bigger numbers.
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."