Author: Gilbert Russell
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is "a process that ensures your company spends its scarce resources on projects that will deliver the most value to your organisation. It is a particularly important process for validating the costs involved in a project." Put simply, project portfolio management presents an amazing opportunity for a business to simplify and streamline work processes that would otherwise be ostensibly complex. When creating a project portfolio management structure, one must be careful as to not get duped into the same replication of complexity that was caused by the lack of a PPM solution in the first place.
There are several ways that a central project portfolio management system can simplify a project driven organisation.
The first means of simplification is through information management. To manage a project-driven organisation requires a substantial amount of information. This information may come in a variety of forms, and managing multiple informational facets including proposals, project plans, resource alignments, estimatations, standard templates, status reports let alone people can prove to be exceedingly difficult as it all consumes copious amounts of time and energy. The key to managing information is to centralize everything as to avoid the manual overhead, poor visibility and banal processes – such is the advantage of project portfolio management, where information management is devoid of sporadic distribution of data and decentralization of resources.
The second way that project portfolio management can simplify a project driven organisation is through standardized process, or project management methodology. Gaining predictability and control is imperative for the success of projects. A centralized PPM model gives organisations the opportunity to standardize every process.
The third is status reporting, because the PPM centralizes and standardizes the projects, this also means that status reports are simple outputs that can even be created by pressing a button. This takes out elements of subjectivity, where the "standard" report formats are created by the project managers almost always In ad hoc fashion.
These are just a few examples, and there will inevitably be a price to pay in the transition from decentralized ad hoc project management to centralized project portfolio management. For instance, as project manager you will need to communicate the direct benefits of a PPM model to get your stakeholders onside with the transition, and you will also need to ensure that all mess is cleaned up beforehand so the transition between models can be carried out without and baggage. By centralizing your processes through project portfolio management, you will be alleviating the pressures of the perplexities and turbulences of modern project-oriented organisations - so it's definitely something too consider.
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