Does this scenario sound familiar: you’ve got a long list of project ideas, a diverse team of engineers, designers, researchers, writers, a somewhat tight budget, and deliverable targets. You know you have the talent, the time and the money – so how do you bring it all together and focus in on the best ideas and projects for your company? You’ve tried simple planning tools and a hands-off approach, but this simply has not been successful. This is why project portfolio management very likely is the missing link you and your entire team need to help you move forward.
Project portfolio management is a term that you may have heard of, here is our definition of this management process: project portfolio management equips company project managers to fully analyze and understand the potential return on investment of a given project. This requires looking at and evaluating every aspect of data associated with the potential project, and developing a clear plan for how this project can be realized and what the expected outcome will be.
This management and business approach is not limited to just project management and upper management, every member of your company benefits from this unified and cohesive approach to planning and managing:
- Upper Management: can understand who to contact regarding a project and who is involved in what aspect.
- Project Managers: easily work with and manage team members and help keep them on-track.
- Team Members: can clearly understand the project expectations and enable better communication through-out the team and with other teams.
- Clients and Others: they can provide feedback on the project and to be kept up-to-date with the new solutions.
At its core, project portfolio management allows everyone involved to actually feel involved and to know that the project can and will be viable.
Managing Your Risk
Every new hire, new project, request from a customer or feature request has a layer of risk. The challenge in succeeding as a company is in managing this risk and making sure it does not become too hard to control.
Often when teams get excited about a project or idea, the details and risk can get lost. And then, soon enough, when the team is deeply invested in the project, the risks and problems start to mount up – making it a challenge to bring the project back on-track.
With a project portfolio management tool, you and everyone involved in a project can see and understand where the risk lies and how best to mitigate it. With the right software, you can dig deep into all aspects including: budget, requirements, task breakdown, resource availability and conflicts, deliverable dates, current and future goals and also consider existing work under development.
When you can clearly see each aspect, and understand how these impact each other, the risk versus the reward is clear. Using this data, you and your team can determine how best to move forward with a project. Of course, this could mean changing the delivery date, hiring new people, changing the focus of the project, or even cancelling the project altogether.
Know Where You’re Going
You need to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. When you can understand all facets of project including the potential outcomes, you can better plan and be prepared for changes in the plan. When you’re using proven project portfolio management software you’re ready and prepared for whatever may come.
Business is not static and does not occur in a vacuum. Your organization is constantly changing with the changes in your industry and your approach to managing projects and achieving success also needs to happen the same way. Using project portfolio management correctly, you can be part of successful change and not be left scrambling trying to pick up the pieces when your project is behind schedule or over budget.
Whether you’re on a constant train of success or you’re new to project management, project portfolio management is your missing link. Do your job more efficiently. Ensure your teams are able to communicate easily. Keep upper management updated and confident with your project outcome. Keep your clients informed with your progress.
It is much easier to lead a team when you can answer questions about scheduling, budget, risks, rewards, client requirements, and future planning – taking advantage of project portfolio management allows everyone involved to experience success.