Project Management

Moving Beyond the Project Portfolio

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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 [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I have long felt that project portfolio management (PPM)—the concept, not just the software category—is something that PMOs need to be tightly integrated with. In the early days, the PMO’s involvement was largely limited to consolidating reporting and generating summary portfolio status updates for executives. But recently, more organizations have been establishing a more proactive PPM approach that leverages PMOs.

As those PMOs have become more focused on enabling better business performance through projects and similar investments, taking a more active role in managing the portfolio of such initiatives has been a logical move—and most organizations that have made that adjustment are seeing performance improvements.

But I can’t help thinking that things need to go further. Organizations are now getting to the point where they are continuously evolving, where a greater percentage of operating budgets is being directed to discretionary investments, and where the concept of stable operations is becoming outdated.

In that environment, we have to look at more than just the traditional project portfolio when it comes to advancing a business—and that means PMOs also have to look beyond projects. But what does that actually look like? I have some ideas, but they’re not exactly mainstream (yet). I would be interested in your thoughts&…

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"Only those who have been in the frying pan are really qualified to talk about the heat."

- Winston Churchill