The Politics of Integration (Part 2): A Solid Project Delivery Start

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In the first article of this series, I looked at annual planning processes and the role a strategically focused PMO should play in that foundational element of portfolio management. The challenge in that area is often that the PMO is not even seen as a “player” in the process, which is a significant deficit to overcome.

This time, I want to look at what happens after project selection has been made—the prioritization, scheduling, initiation and planning of the initiatives within the portfolio. This is an area where the PMO is much more likely to be involved, but that doesn’t make the political challenges any easier to deal with.

From a portfolio management perspective, planning and initiation is focused on creating a solid foundation for achieving the portfolio goals. That will include:

  • Prioritizing and scheduling initiatives to maximize the chances of achieving the goals and objectives. That’s not a simple task. Some of the major contribution projects will need to be scheduled early to allow time for recovery at a portfolio level if there is any shortfall. However, there also needs to be a number of more complex projects scheduled early on regardless of contribution, as those will have the highest likelihood of experiencing delays that will be harder to address.
  • Maximizing resource utilization and work distribution. Projects have to …

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