Managing Your Project Pipeline vs Your Resources
By Diana Eskander
Winning a new project is exciting for any business. But it usually doesn’t take very long for the feeling or triumph to be taken over by the realization that more work means a greater challenge for resource management and the evaluation of how realistic it is to complete this project on time – if at all.
The assessment is a delicate balance of how you will reshuffle your pool of resources to accommodate this new endeavor, which could possibly delay, cancel or compromise some of your ongoing projects. Questions to be asked include: Should your company hire additional consultants or contractors? Can your current resources handle this new endeavor? Should the project be put on hold or refused all together?
This is where a proper project governance policy comes in, which helps corporations in their decision-making process when it comes to selecting which projects should be worked on and when, as well as effective ways to manage resources and the project pipeline. Read the Complete Article
Bringing Agile Into the Portfolio
By Nils Davis
In today’s tech infused world, many companies strive to rise above the competition and get results from their efforts and ideas as quickly as possible. It’s okay to want instant gratification – our customers seem to expect it – but as we well know, anything great takes time. But shaving even small amounts of time off valuable projects can yield big returns. So how do you compound that and make it a habit? Some ideas and principles from “agile” promise to get you there.
What Is Agile?
To explore the application of “agile” to portfolio management we need to start from “what is agile?” and why it’s effective at driving value. I’ll generalize some of the concepts you are probably already familiar with from agile development methodologies, and then tie those into portfolio management.
Agile does not equal scrum or kanban. Scrum and kanban (and others) are methodologies for applying agile principles. Read the Complete Article
Project and Portfolio Management Quiz: Are You Top Down or Bottom Up?
By Kristyn Medeiros
Why does it matter?
Both the top down and bottom up approaches are integral to project and portfolio success. However, it will significantly help you to know what your current approach is. With this awareness comes discussion on whether this is the approach you want. Many PMOs start out with a bottom up approach, but eventually grow and mature in to the top down approach. Both methods are needed, but using a top down approach signifies PMO maturity and influence across the organization.
Use the questions below to determine what your tendencies are today. Think about how you and your PMO members would act today, not your desired end state.
Read the Complete Article
- What matters most to you?
- Having a single place where the team can store their project details
Having data available to facilitate strategic conversations
Seeing reports that aggregate project data from multiple project managers
It’s 5pm on Friday afternoon.
Applying March Madness Bracketology to Project Portfolio Management
By Lindsey Marymont
It’s that time of year when the office is buzzing with talk of the NCAA tourney – boasting alumni, hometown favorites, and raw athletic talent. March Madness is full of predictions and hype, and while many people might stay loyal to their favorites, most people will consider the sports analysts’ opinions before finalizing their picks (even if it is just a friendly bet).
If you’re filling out your bracket on one screen, ESPN highlights on the other, and scrolling Yahoo sports on your phone, you’re not alone – you should be commended for utilizing your resources well. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of information out there and factor that into your own choices? Let’s face it, you can’t watch every play of every game in every conference to make sure you are making the best choices. No, you’re going to read highlights, research players or teams that catch your eye, and any other tried and true tricks. Read the Complete Article
Four Common Project Portfolio Dashboard Mistakes
By Kristyn Medeiros
Portfolio dashboards are a fantastic way to track metrics and progress across the organization. They provide insight in to project status, financials, and roadmaps, to name a few. Ultimately, the goal of dashboards is to give a big picture of how the work done day to day aligns with the company’s strategic goals and objectives. Without this knowledge, it’s impossible to make sure the company is moving forward in the direction it needs to go. Dashboards should tell the story of projects and portfolios, communicate a consistent message to a broad audience, and provide visibility to those who may not otherwise have it.
Mistake #1: The information is not useful.
While creating a dashboard is not difficult, creating a useful and significant one can be. Dashboards are meant to support and guide the right conversations. When presenting a dashboard to an audience, the collaborative discussion that comes from the information is the benefit of the dashboard. Read the Complete Article
Getting Started with Project Scoring
By Lindsey Marymont
Scoring projects is an easy way to identify high value projects and push them to the front of the line, keeping your organization working on the highest priority initiatives at all times. But you might be surprised at how little of organizations are actually doing it in practice. In our latest Project and Portfolio Management Landscape Report, prioritization was cited as the second biggest challenge for organizations, consistently behind resourcing, yet increased as a challenge year over year. When asked the same organizations about scoring in particular, 24% had no formal methodology. Which begs the question: then how are projects approved?
Clearly a first-in, first-out system is not the answer when it comes to innovation. In many of these organizations, there might be someone that has a good sense of the business and what needs to get done that acts as the gatekeeper. Read the Complete Article
Six Predictions for Project Portfolio Management in 2016
By Kevin Kern
Each year we review and reflect on some of the industry specific Project Portfolio Management trends of the past year and consider trends for the coming year that might have an impact on the business. Here are our six predictions heading into 2016:
If you’re not managing your applications, they’re managing you.
Applications are powering business. Application ecosystems are everywhere, and steadily increasing. Paradoxically the continued reliance on applications isn’t being managed or tracked proportionally to the level of importance we feel they deserve. Applications are changing the way businesses operate and optimize, yet in so many firms, they are being tracked on spreadsheets. This is the age of application software, or as I call “the post PC era,” where nobody cares about the operating system or hardware. We believe the consumerization of IT will continue.
We don’t discount the importance of application maintenance and repair, and this includes application configurations and customizations that make business process incrementally better for all your team members. Read the Complete Article
Portfolio Metrics Need to Advance Beyond on Time and on Budget
By Kiron D. Bondale
While simply meeting the triple constraint is not the best method of evaluating project success, on time or on budget statistics continue to be used by Project Management Offices (PMO) as proof that project delivery capabilities are improving. After all, if the department was formed when on time or on budget rates were very low, it can be very gratifying for the PMO leader to publish a steadily increasing trend for these metrics over time.
But do these improving percentages demonstrate that the organization is experiencing improved returns on its portfolio investments?
Lets consider a project portfolio which is composed of a large number of small projects and a few large, strategic ones which were all planned to complete this year. Lets assume that all of the small projects were completed on time and on budget, but the two strategic projects were completed significantly behind schedule and vastly over budget. Read the Complete Article
The Product Roadmap is Not the Project Portfolio
By Johanna Rothman
I keep seeing talks and arguments about how the portfolio team should manage the epics for a program. That conflates the issue of project portfolio management and product management.
Several potential teams affect each project (or program).
Figure 1: Centers and Value
Starting at the right side of this image, the project portfolio team decides which projects to do and when for the organization.
The product owner value team decides which features/feature sets to do when for a given product. That team may well split feature sets into releases, which provides the project portfolio team opportunities to change the project the cross-functional team works on.
The product development team (the agile/lean cross-functional team) decides how to design, implement, and test the current backlog of work.
When the portfolio team gets in the middle of the product roadmap planning, the product manager does not have the flexibility to manage the product backlog or the capabilities of the product over time. Read the Complete Article
Selecting a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution: Three Key Criteria
By Tushar Patel
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software will bring several benefits to any organization, regardless of size, industry sector, or maturity. PPM software will increase your visibility into the work your resources are executing, enable you to prioritize new work that is being requested, make your organization run more efficiently and ultimately increase the ROI of your projects, resources, and applications – resulting in greater business value. When choosing a solution and vendor, there are several criteria that should be evaluated, here are my top three:
#1 – Top-Down Portfolio Approach
I hear time and time again that CIOs and PMOs struggle with demonstrating business value – one reason is because they are hyper focused on execution. Execution is important, in fact, it is really, really important (more on this later). However, I would argue that strategically planning your projects and resources before you start execution is even more important. Read the Complete Article