Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

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Your Challenge

  • As Portfolio Manager, you’re responsible for communicating portfolio results and future capacity to your steering committee.
  • Business and IT leaders need more accurate information on project status and resource availability to decide when to start and stop projects.
  • You need to better understand the needs of the PMO and assess the costs and benefits associated with different tools and approaches to PPM.  

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • PPM is a practice, not a tool. Before succeeding with a commercial tool, you need to establish discipline and trust around reporting processes, which can be done using spreadsheets and other simple tools.
  • Portfolio management is separate from project management. Think of it as the accounting department for time. Project managers report into the portfolio and are held accountable to it, but it isn’t simply an extension of project management.

Impact and Result

  • Decrease the wasted portfolio budget by reducing the number of cancelled projects and other sources of efficiency.
  • Establish the portfolio as the “one source of truth” for project reporting by increasing rigor around project status updating and reporting.
  • Align project intake with resource capacity to improve throughput, quality of estimates, and stakeholder satisfaction.

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

1

Make the case

Gain an understanding of how this PPM strategy will be relevant for the PMO, as well as why stakeholders should support this endeavor.

2

Assess the current state of PPM

Understand the current state of project portfolio management capability. The overall score(s) from the diagnostic(s) will inform the next steps of this blueprint by identifying current and target capability levels.

3

Conduct a cost and benefit analysis

Decide whether the organization has the capability and the budget to use a commercial PPM tool and/or if it should implement a homegrown solution.

4

Articulate the PPM strategy

Define PPM processes such as project request, intake prioritization and approval, time tracking, and resourcing. Pilot the strategy with the organization and make changes as necessary.

5

Right-size PPM tools

Make a decision regarding PPM tools based on the organization's needs, maturity, and available budget.

6

Define and implement the near-term plan

Establish next steps that are within the authority of the PMO that do not require approval or investment outside of that authority. Pilot the PPM Workbook to test the ability to maintain portfolio data.

7

Define the long-term plan

Develop a plan to gain approval, stakeholder buy-in, and the investment of time and money to accomplish long-term PPM goals.

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Expert Analyst Perspective

Video screengrab
Make the case
Assess the current state of PPM
Conduct a cost and benefit analysis
Articulate the PPM strategy
Right-size PPM tools
Define and implement the near-term plan
Define the long-term plan

Onsite Workshop

Book Your Workshop

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: Assess PPM Capability

The Purpose

  • A completed business case comparing the costs and benefits of implementing a new or improved PPM strategy.
  • An overview of your organization’s current and target capability levels.
  • A completed cost benefit analysis that will help to inform decisions regarding PPM tool selection. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Communicate the costs and benefits of completing this project.
  • Have a high-level view your organization’s current PPM capability and set your target state goals.
  • Calculate the cost of PPM to your organization and the benefits of optimizing your PPM processes. 

Activities:
Outputs

1.1

Estimate the benefits of implementing a PPM strategy

  • A completed business case comparing the costs and benefits of implementing a new or improved PPM strategy.

1.2

Use the PPM Strategy Template to make the case for developing a PPM strategy

  • An overview of your organization’s current and target capability levels

1.3

Consider the expectations that leadership has for Project Portfolio Management

  • A completed cost benefit analysis that will help to inform decisions regarding PPM tool selection

1.4

Use Info-Tech’s PPM capability model to define your current and target states

1.5

Calculate the cost of the portfolio to your organization

Module 2: Develop the PPM Strategy

The Purpose

  • To articulate the PPM strategy, with definition to be added in the near and long-term plan stages.
  • To conduct a realistic assessment of your capability to adopt different types of PPM tools. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Make decisions regarding your reporting, project intake, resource management, and project closure procedures.
  • The beginning stages of your PPM strategy, to be revised and elaborated upon in the upcoming phase.

Activities:
Outputs

2.1

Establish a process and tools for providing portfolio visibility to executives

  • A PPM strategy, with definition to be added in the near and long-term plan stages

2.2

Determine the degree of rigor required around project intake, approval, and prioritization

  • A realistic assessment of your capability to adopt different types of PPM tools

2.3

Define a high-level resource management strategy

2.4

Assess and refine project closure procedures

2.5

Document the PPM strategy

2.6

Review the Tool Assessment graphic in the PPM Strategy Development Tool

Module 3: Implement and Maintain the PPM Strategy

The Purpose

  • To make a distinction between your near-term and long-term PPM strategies.
  • To implement the near-term plan.
  • To define the action plan and timeline to set you on the right path to achieve your long-term PPM goals. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • The opportunity to begin implanting certain aspects of your strategy in the near-term to build up towards your long-term plan.

Activities:
Outputs

3.1

Brainstorm quick-wins to increase your PPM capability

  • The PPM Standard Operating Procedure

3.2

Create an action plan for implementing the near-term plan

  • The PPM Charter

3.3

Download and complete the PPM Standard Operating Procedure

3.4

Develop a plan to manage resistance to the new PPM strategy

3.5

Document other risks and constraints that might inhibit the success of the PPM strategy

3.6

Document the long-term plan in Info-Tech’s PPM Charter

Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

$ Saved

Days Saved

Testimonial

Veterans United Home Loans

$129K

30

I am super impressed with Barry Cousins' experience, depth of understanding and ability to communicate the information we need. I completely enjoyed the opportunity to work with him. As for the worst - (and it is super minor) for the diagnostic assessment walk-through Barry did for us it was difficult to see the details on the report because the font was small and the resolution of our projector was low. Not much we can do about that. As long as we each brought a printout we were fine.

Northgate Markets

$1,295

N/A

Best: Learning better project management tips. Better resource managing techniques/tips.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

$2,000

15

Pro - Extremely helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable analysts. Con - None.

City of Toronto

$55,000

90

Barry Cousins was excellent - although there was an error in the scheduling. He was able to assists with both requests. He explained concepts and pain points as well as challenges. He provided us with items to consider and recommendations. He also shared his industry knowledge and insights to assist clients concerns ( a niche area - the engineering services group) them address their issues). He is remarkable!!

Olympus Australia

$125K

30

Just a different, academic, quality view that can help change my thought process. How do you value that!

Greater Essex County District School Board

$25,013

30

The project resource management tool that Barry provided is simple to use and easy to understand, with the added value of a way to post the results easily in a SharePoint site. While I could have developed it on my own because it was created in standard Excel, it would have taken at least a month full-time to do it, and it would never have been the "Cadillac" that this one is, it would have only been a "Chevrolet". The Change Management tool we reviewed would be very useful but in another organization, mine is not quite ready for it.

United Technologies Corporation

$7,504

5

Great usage of examples and props to address questions. Would have liked more time to get deeper into this topic.

The Institute of Professional Practice Inc.

$12,506

3

ArcBest Technologies

$13,123

N/A

The best aspect of this workshop was helping us get a better picture of how a PPM product needed to be implemented within the company as well as the change management required to be successful. Being able to tailor the workshop discussion based on our environment was invaluable. By providing a consistent platform of project management skills to build from, we have laid the necessary foundation for success on our tier one projects. This consistency will encourage better feedback to our customers on how their projects are progressing as well as identifying any risks or obstacles that need to be addressed as they arise along the way.

BHP Billiton Canada Inc.

$200K

30

Barry's knowledge, experience and organic approach to the workshop ensured our expectations were exceeded. All workshops requirements were met but we had the added advantage of cementing inter-team relationships by ensuring we were all understanding the rationale and supporting the go-forward approach for our PPM Strategy.

Client

Facilitator(s) effectiveness

INFO & materials effectiveness

Overall experience

Understanding of next steps

Testimonial

CA Dept of Toxic Substances Control

8.0

8.0

8.5

8.0

I am writing on behalf of Vince Londini regarding his recent presentation of the Info-Tech Portfolio Management Workshop. For each day of the workshop, Vince always took the initiative to ensure his pre-work was done exceptionally well and all information covered in the previous day was carried to the new day. He also made sure he was thoroughly prepared to participate at length in workshop discussions and challenged participants to think critically. Vince is a pleasure to work with because his pleasant and positive attitude can make nearly any work seem fun and interesting. With Vince's relentless motivation and his in-depth understanding of Information Technology disciplines, Vince would bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to any organization.

BHP Billiton Canada Inc.

9.0

9.5

9.5

9.0

South State Bank

9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0

Jabil

8.0

9.0

8.0

9.0

Towson University

9.0

8.5

9.0

6.0

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

Ameren Services Company, Inc

8.0

8.0

8.0

8.0