Using PPM to Curb Complexity

Jerry Manas is the author of the best-sellers Napoleon on Project Management and Managing the Gray Areas, and a recognized thought leader in organizational project and resource management. His latest book is The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook (September 2014). Jerry's work has been highlighted in a variety of publications, and he has appeared on radio programs nationwide.

Some problems can’t be solved on the back of a napkin. Managing resource capacity and demand in a complex enterprise environment is a good example. A project portfolio management system can help in four critical, connected areas: visibility, prioritization, optimization and integration.

I was recently speaking to a group of IT senior executives about their most pressing challenges. Surprisingly — given all the other ubiquitous IT pain points — the issue that rose to the forefront and became the big topic of conversation came from one CIO who sat in the back of the room. He shared that he finds it increasingly difficult to convince fellow leaders on the executive board why certain initiatives will take so long, or why they’ll require so many resources. Indeed, “What are all these people doing?” has become a mantra among business and IT leaders alike, right along with, “Are we really making the best use of the people we have?” and “Do we need to acquire additional skills?”

CIOs are used to managing complexity, especially when it comes to technology. But when it comes to navigating the murky waters of demand prioritization and resource optimization, many are stymied. One solution that can bring clarity and integration at the enterprise level is Project Portfolio Management (PPM), particularly when it comes to solving a …

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