Portfolio Management: Simple is Often Better

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

As you study the literature and bodies of knowledge on project portfolio management, it is clear that many organizations have benefited from a formal PPM process while others have been unable to develop productive PPM capabilities. You also learn in those studies that there a great number of frameworks, theories and approaches on how to best design, implement and manage an organization’s PPM function.

When all this is said and done, the only real thing that matters is what approach to PPM will work best for your organization; the rest is just noise and distraction. And yes, it is good to wade through the literature. But what is most important is to weigh the knowledge to be expounded against good old common sense. In the end, I believe you will find that the less complicated the approach, the more probable its sustainable success. The old adage “simpler is better” often holds true, especially when it comes to PPM.

With that adage in mind, here is some guidance that you might find helpful in developing and/or honing your organization’s PPM function.

Score projects using objective and quantifiable data
Scoring projects provides a basis for comparing projects on an apples-to-apples basis.The challenge is to develop a set of scoring criteria that represent the overall value of a project to the organization and that are not subjective in …

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