Project Portfolio Management icon

Bring Visibility to Your Day-to-Day Projects

Sweat the small stuff.

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Your Challenge

  • As an IT leader, you are responsible for getting new things done while keeping the old things running. These “new things” can come in many forms, e.g. service requests, incidents, and officially sanctioned PMO projects, as well as a category of “unofficial” projects that have been initiated through other channels.
  • These unofficial projects get called many things by different organizations (e.g. level 0 projects,BAU projects, non-PMO projects, day-to-day projects), but they all have the similar characteristics: they are smaller and less complex than larger projects or officially sanctioned projects; they are larger and more risky than operational tasks or incidents; and they are focused on the needs of a specific functional unit and tend to stay within those units to get done.
  • Because these day-to-day projects are small, emergent, team-specific, operationally vital, yet generally perceived as being strategically unimportant, top-level leadership has a limited understanding of them when they are approving and prioritizing major projects. As a result, they approve projects with no insight into how your team’s capacity is already stretched thin by existing demands.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Senior leadership cannot contrast the priority of things that are undocumented. As an IT leader, you need to ensure day-to-day projects receive the appropriate amount of documentation without drowning your team in a process that the types of project don’t warrant.
  • Don’t bleed your project capacity dry by leaving the back door open. When executive oversight took over the strategic portfolio, we assumed they’d resource those projects as a priority. Instead, they focused on “alignment,” “strategic vision,” and “go to market” while failing to secure and defend the resource capacity needed. To focus on the big stuff, you need to sweat the small stuff.

Impact and Result

  • Develop a method to consistently identify and triage day-to-day projects across functional teams in a standard and repeatable way.
  • Establish a way to balance and prioritize the operational necessity of day-to-day projects against the strategic value of major projects.
  • Build a repeatable process to document and report where the time goes across all given pockets of demand your team faces.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should put more portfolio management structure around your day-to-day projects, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Uncover your organization’s hidden pockets of day-to-day projects

Define an organizational standard for identifying day-to-day projects and triaging them in relation to other categories of projects.

Analyze the capacity footprint of day-to-day projects to inform stakeholders and set better expectations.

2. Establish ongoing day-to-day project visibility

Build a process for maintaining reliable day-to-day project supply and demand data.

Configure a tool to report on projects and keep day-to-day project stakeholders informed.

Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

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You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process in your first call.

Get advice from a subject matter expert.

Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and setting the direction for your next project step.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Analyze the Current State of Day-to-Day Projects

The Purpose

Assess the current state of project portfolio management and establish a realistic target state for the management of day-to-day projects.

Key Benefits Achieved

Realistic and well-informed workshop goals.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Begin with introductions and workshop expectations activity.

  • Realistic workshop goals and expectations
1.2

Perform PPM SWOT analysis.

  • PPM SWOT analysis
1.3

Assess pain points and analyze root causes.

  • Root cause analysis

Module 2: Establish Portfolio Baselines for Day-to-Day Projects

The Purpose

Establish a standard set of baselines for day-to-day projects that will help them to be identified and managed in the same way across different functional teams.

Key Benefits Achieved

Standardization of project definitions and project value assessments across different functional teams.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Formalize the definition of a day-to-day project and establish project levels.

  • Project identification matrix
2.2

Develop a project value scorecard for day-to-day projects.

  • Project value scorecard
2.3

Analyze the capacity footprint of day-to-day projects.

  • A capacity overview to inform baselines

Module 3: Build a Target State Process for Day-to-Day Projects

The Purpose

Establish a target state process for tracking and monitoring day-to-day projects at the portfolio level.

Key Benefits Achieved

Standardization of how day-to-day projects are managed and reported on across different functional teams.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Map current state workflows for the intake and resource management practices (small and large projects).

  • Current state workflows
3.2

Perform a right-wrong-missing-confusing analysis.

  • Right-wrong-missing-confusing analysis
3.3

Draft a target state process for the initiation of day-to-day projects and for capacity planning.

  • Target state workflows

Module 4: Prepare to Implement Your New Processes

The Purpose

Start to plan the implementation of your new processes for the portfolio management of day-to-day projects.

Key Benefits Achieved

An implementation plan, complete with communication plans, timelines, and goals.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Perform a change impact and stakeholder management analysis.

  • Change impact and stakeholder analyses
4.2

Perform a start-stop-continue activity.

  • Start-stop-continue retrospective
4.3

Define an implementation roadmap.

  • Implementation roadmap
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