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Lay the Foundations for Project Portfolio Management

Struggling to get a grip on projects within your organization? Start here!

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Contributors

Five anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • Most companies are struggling to get their project work done. This is due in part to the fact that many prescribed remedies are confusing, disruptive, costly, or ineffective.
  • While struggling to find a solution, within the organization, project requests never stop and all projects continue to all be treated the same. Resources are requested for multiple projects without any visibility into their project capacity. Projects lack proper handoffs from closure to ongoing operational work. And the benefits are never tracked.
  • If you have too many projects, limited resources, ineffective communications, or low post-project adoption, keep reading. Perhaps you should spend a bit more on project, portfolio, and organizational change management.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Successful project outcomes are not built by project processes: Projects may be the problem, but project management rigor is not the solution.
  • Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking high-rigor project management should be every organization’s end goal.
  • Instead, understand that it is better to spend time assessing the portfolio to determine what projects should be prioritized.

Impact and Result

Begin by establishing a few foundational practices that will work to drive project throughput.

  • Capacity Estimation: Understand what your capacity is to do projects by determining how much time is allocated to doing other things.
  • Book of Record: Establish a basic but sustainable book of record so there is an official list of projects in flight and those waiting in a backlog or funnel.
  • Simple Project Management Processes: Align the rigor of your project management process with what is required, not what is prescribed by the PMP designation.
  • Impact Assessment: Address the impact of change at the beginning of the project and prepare stakeholders with the right level of communication.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Begin by establishing a few foundational practices that will work to drive project throughput. Most project management problems are resolved with portfolio level solutions. This blueprint will address the eco-system of project, portfolio, and organizational change management.

1. Project portfolio management

Estimate project capacity, determine what needs to be tracked on an ongoing basis, and determine what criteria is necessary for prioritizing projects.

2. Project management

Develop a process to inform the portfolio of the project status, create a plan that can be maintained throughout the project lifecycle, and manage the scope through a change request process.

3. Organizational change management

Perform a change impact assessment and identify the obvious and non-obvious stakeholders to develop a message canvas accordingly.

4. Develop an action plan

Develop a roadmap for how to move from the current state to the target state.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a twelve call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Project portfolio management

Call #1 - Determine current project capacity.
Call #2 - Develop portfolio book of record.
Call #3 - Evaluate project intake.

Guided Implementation #2 - Project management

Call #1 - Determine necessary reporting metrics.
Call #2 - Create a work breakdown structure.
Call #3 - Document your project change request process.

Guided Implementation #3 - Organizational change management

Call #1 - Discuss change accountability.
Call #2 - Complete a change impact assessment.
Call #3 - Create a communication plan for stakeholders.

Guided Implementation #4 - Develop an action plan

Call #1 - Summarize current state.
Call #2 - Determine target state.
Call #3 - Create a roadmap.

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: Project Portfolio Management

The Purpose

  • Establish the current state of the portfolio.
  • Organize the portfolio requirements.
  • Determine how projects are prioritized.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand project capacity supply-demand.
  • Build a portfolio book of record.
  • Create a project value scorecard.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Conduct capacity supply-demand estimation.

  • Clear project capacity
1.2

Determine requirements for portfolio book of record.

  • Draft portfolio book of record
1.3

Develop project value criteria.

  • Project value scorecard

Module 2: Project Management

The Purpose

  • Feed the portfolio with the project status.
  • Plan the project work with a sustainable level of granularity.
  • Manage the project as conditions change.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop a process to inform the portfolio of the project status.
  • Create a plan that can be maintained throughout the project lifecycle and manage the scope through a change request process.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Determine necessary reporting metrics.

  • Feed the portfolio with the project status
2.2

Create a work structure breakdown.

  • Plan the project work with a sustainable level of granularity
2.3

Document your project change request process.

  • Manage the project as conditions change

Module 3: Organizational Change Management

The Purpose

  • Discuss change accountability.
  • Complete a change impact assessment.
  • Create a communication plan for stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Complete a change impact assessment.
  • Identify the obvious and non-obvious stakeholders and develop a message canvas accordingly.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Discuss change accountability.

  • Assign accountability for the change
3.2

Complete a change impact assessment.

  • Assess the change impact
3.3

Create a communication plan for stakeholders.

  • Communicate the change

Module 4: Develop an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Summarize current state.
  • Determine target state.
  • Create a roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop a roadmap for how to move from the current state to the target state.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Summarize current state and target state.

  • Stakeholder Communication Deck
4.2

Create a roadmap.

  • MS Project Wireframe