Staying on Target
'Once a project portfolio is formed, the expectation is that projects will be managed within the portfolio. It becomes the responsibility of the portfolio manager to ensure that the projects within their domain meet the overall objectives for the portfolio. So how does a portfolio manager know if they are on target? If critical decisions have to be made about the portfolio, how does a manager know the status of their projects?
Careful planning at the outset of every project can provide the portfolio manager with the needed information. Using staged reviews, planned review milestones and decision points, portfolio managers will know where every project is in its lifecycle and how well they are doing to achieve the overall goal.
Logical Review Stages
At the beginning of every project, the portfolio manager and the project manager should establish points in the life of the project where the effort will be evaluated. These reviews will assess the continued value, return and risks of the project. Such reviews will answer the questions:
Does the project satisfy the company's overall strategy?
Does the project satisfy the portfolio's overall strategy?
What are the project's risks?
Are these risks surmountable?
What investments are needed to continue the project?
What will be the project returns on the
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