Sunday, February 23, 2020

Corporate Commentary

Steps for Implementing Successful Project Portfolio Management

In any business, project portfolio management can sometimes feel like juggling a hundred balls at one time. To manage a company’s extensive portfolio, a PMO needs to meet several different challenges. He not only has to make sure all the Ts are crossed and the Is dotted, he has to deal with the underlying elements of all the projects in the portfolio, and this is much bigger than just a project. Taking portfolio budgets, resource management, and other factors not often noticed by others into account can seem like an overwhelming bunch of tasks to handle. We are going to show you some steps that could simplify it all and make the work seem more worthwhile.

Start By Establishing Your Criteria

Before you jump into the fray, start by determining if a job is actually worth being classified as a portfolio or a stand-alone project. In some cases, projects can be so small that they could be considered as an element of another larger project. On the other hand, there are very large projects delivered by multiple teams, and in this case, this large project must be managed as it is a portfolio of projects. Look at all the tasks in front of you and classify them as either minor, normal, or major. Once you do this, you can then determine which tasks deserve your immediate attention or whether or not you can categorize it as a project and include into portfolio.

Determine Your Strategy

It’s important to take the time to determine the specific approach you plan to take to achieve your goals with the portfolio. Decide first what you want to accomplish and the time frame. Look at the projects in your portfolio, and make sure you have analyzed all the possible dependencies between them. Your goal here is to understand the big picture so you can make effective and decisions. The big picture is necessary for an executive not just at the beginning, but every day, and PPM Express can give you that neat general view on the portfolio, no matter where your teams manage their projects.

Garner Your Support

If you are only introducing project portfolio management in your organization, you will need to execute a change in mindset. Some employees or those in upper management may find themselves resistant to these kinds of changes. Before you begin, seek the support of upper management first, then it will be much easier for others within your organization to embrace the changes introduced. Eventually, everybody will benefit from those changes.

Get Your Ducks in A Row

Make sure that you start with a good grasp on what is a goal of your portfolio, what resources you have and what value you are going to deliver. To reach success, you must be confident that every project team knows these core things and all the joint effort has been put into the right direction. Once those elements are established and all the needed tools implemented, it will be much easier to monitor progress and control each aspect of your portfolio.

Prioritize & Be Flexible

Prioritizing is not just something you do at the beginning of a process. It must be done throughout the life of your portfolio. As circumstances change so will the priorities: some projects will be terminated, and others will receive more resources. It is important to be adaptable to the situation, and that’s where agile portfolio management comes in handy. It is necessary that executives and PMOs not just set the right priorities by correctly recognizing risks and opportunities. In modern business environment, these factors can change dramatically in a blink of an eye. The organization needs to be agile and able to respond to change immediately by changing the priorities, rebalancing the resources and reshaping the strategy.

Build Your Team

It is important that you create a balanced team of managers who will commit to deliver the value and results your portfolio is focused on. You don’t want a team of only thinkers, but also those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and getting involved in the project. At the very least, you need those who can manage a portfolio, stakeholders, and technical workers as well. In some cases, you might need a steering committee and key personal from senior management involved to help deal with important decisions.

Determine The Point of Success

Setting up a system that will determine how well your portfolio is doing comes down to scoring. By coming up with set parameters that are essential to success, and the right status reporting tool, such as PPM Express, you will be able to measure your progress and its value to the company. Your scoring process should start by explaining the theory behind the parameters you set, creating a model of how it may have been used in other companies, and brainstorming with key people on your team to fine-tune it to your company’s needs.

Project portfolio management doesn’t have to be a bear. Just like everything else in the world, it is a process of learning and adapting to circumstances as they appear. If you focus on your company’s specific needs and are able to roll with the punches, then you are sure to find success in managing any portfolio of projects you receive.

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Emma London
Emma London is a columnist and member of the ​CEOWORLD magazine editorial board. She's one of the magazine's founding editors and leads global newsroom coverage and management. Having lived in five different countries — the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain, and the United Kingdom - Emma is obsessed with how tech empowers people from all walks of life. She is fluent in Spanish.
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