Dealing with Portfolio Complexity

Kevin Coleman is a highly skilled senior level project and program manager/advisor with experience leading projects with labor budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to multi-million dollar budgets across multiple industries.

Many organizations have implemented project portfolio management as a part of their execution excellence strategy. PPM has evolved to the point where many organizations feel it is essential and do not want to think about how they would manage all the “in-flight” projects that they have to deal with on a regular basis. Some organizations have been quick to point out the path to their current PPM state and their ongoing operations is not all a bed of roses. There have been a few rough spots.

First, they had to define what PPM meant in the context of the organization. While that sounds easy, it really isn’t. Many believe that project portfolio management in the context of project management is a centralized set of processes, methods and technologies used by project professionals in the execution of their duties; others have come to believe it goes well beyond those confines. Some have come to believe it also includes alignment with the vision, strategy, goals and objectives of the organization.

One thing is for sure: It is a complex management undertaking that continuously challenges even the most seasoned professionals. So the question that often arises is: What makes this so complex? Here are just a few answers to that question based on what I have witnessed firsthand…

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