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Formalize Project Portfolio Management for Small Enterprise

Make big gains in small steps.

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  • Martin Baclig, Project and Change Officer, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures
  • John Hansknecht, Director of Technology, University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy
  • Ben Leighton, Academic IT Lead, Durham University
  • Nancy Roberge, Technical Advisor, Government of Canada
  • Jochen Sievert, IT Manager, Zeon Chemicals
  • Tom Thomalla Jr., Senior IT Manager, Ever-Green Energy
  • Many small IT departments are overwhelmed by low-value, reactionary work. They can have trouble discerning, and focusing on, initiatives that will help contribute to the growth of the business.
  • These small IT shops tend to believe that they lack the time, tools, and skillset to engage in traditional project portfolio management (PPM) – a discipline that can help bring a strategic and unifying vision to project activity.
  • Small or large, it’s important that IT does the right thing for the business. If small IT leaders are to contribute to business growth, they need to increase the manageability and value of IT projects by implementing lightweight PPM processes that are suitable for teams in fast-paced, rapidly changing, interruption-driven environments.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Almost all PPM commercial tools and formal frameworks are aimed at mid- to large-sized enterprises. IT shops with ten or less staff are grossly underserved when it comes to PPM advice.
  • Successful PPM doesn’t require additional time or administrative overhead. A right-sized approach to PPM improves project results and business satisfaction without imposing additional load on small IT teams.
  • The most ideal time to start building PPM capabilities is while the organization is still small. If you start small, you can better refine and evolve your capabilities to coincide with business growth. The longer you wait to hone these capabilities, the harder it will be to establish PPM discipline as the business expands.

Impact and Result

  • Bring visibility to the work-in-progress by developing right-sized tools and reporting processes.
  • Manage resource capacity to ensure that IT isn’t promising more than it can deliver.
  • Develop strong project initiation and closure practices to help drive the throughput of the highest value projects through the portfolio.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should formalize a PPM solution, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Develop the plan

Establish a right-sized portfolio operating plan that will help bring calm to the storm of small IT.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Develop the plan

Call #1 - Scope PPM project.
Call #2 - Establish reporting processes and a reporting cadence.
Call #3 - Determine project capacity and match the right resources to the right projects.
Call #4 - Create an intake and prioritization framework.

Guided Implementation #2 - Implement the plan

Call #1 - Discuss tool options based on your budget and capability level.
Call #2 - Pilot Info-Tech’s PPM Workbook with your project data.
Call #3 - Devise a change management strategy to help implement your new processes throughout the organization.

Onsite Workshop

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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: Develop the Plan

The Purpose

  • Review current state of your organization’s PPM capabilities.
  • Review PPM frameworks and best practices based on Info-Tech’s practical insight.
  • Develop a right-sized PPM operating plan for your organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Defined current and targets states for your PPM strategy.
  • An understanding of Info-Tech’s framework for PPM success.
  • Make decisions regarding your reporting, project intake, resource management, and project closure procedures.




Undergo a PPM needs assessment.

  • Current state analysis based on project intake needs assessment.

Perform SWOT analysis.

  • An overview of current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Map current workflows.

  • An analysis of inefficiencies and opportunities in your current PPM workflows.

Develop your portfolio operating plan.

  • A right-sized PPM operating plan.

Module 2: Implement the Plan

The Purpose

  • The development of a PPM tool and populating it with active projects from your organization.
  • The definition of future requirements for the Project Portfolio Workbook.
  • Strategize an effective roll-out plan for your new tools and processes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A customized PPM tool to help ensure more consistent and accurate portfolio reporting, more effective resource management, and better project throughput.
  • Clearly established team roles for rolling out new tool processes and for managing stakeholders. 




Configure one of Info-Tech’s Project Portfolio Workbook templates.

  • PPM Workbook Template for Excel or Google for Work.

Pilot your portfolio operating plan using your newly configured workbook.

  • A road-tested operating plan.

Establish implementation and organizational change management plans.

  • Step-by-step guides and stakeholder management plans to ensure implementation success.

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

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.




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