Organisations manage different projects at the same time which could compete in terms of priorities, resources and budgets. How can we make sure that the most critical projects are done first and that further ones are prepared on time?
Project Management helps to foster collaboration and drives innovations in companies by focusing dedicated teams on specific outcomes or deliverables and by tapping into the knowledge of different functions and experts.
Most organisation run multiple projects at the same time which are either controlled by function or department heads or centrally controlled by the CEO. We will show in 3 steps how to set-up and run a simple but effective portfolio management
1. Define the data & outcomes
Know what information you need from each projects is a great start. Most companies already have centralized BI (Business Intelligence) Platforms for operational data and CRM Systems for customer success data. Besides that we also need a weekly status from our waterfall or agile projects about their current status and outcomes. This can include deliverable status, cost & resource data, status updates and ideally a RAG overview as seen in the next picture.
2. Consolidate all project data
Project set-up, plans and outcomes need to be comparable, therefore we highly recommend to use templates for project charters, backlogs, project / sprint planings, status reports, etc.. Defined processes and templates will help your teams to perform similar project stages and report the current status and achievements of the project into a consolidated form.
It is important to run the data consolidation weekly by e.g. Friday EOB to be able to present a similar project status overview on Monday or Tuesday the coming week and to discuss progress, issues and risks and react timely on it. For accelerated environments the consolidation could be more than weekly, however we do not advise to follow-up projects on real time data similar to operational data on BI (Business Intelligence) dashboards. The reason is that projects need time to perform tasks and generate outcomes and therefore it is better to have a weekly status cut-off.
The Project Status Template also includes detail project tracking on activity, issue, risk and change request level, which could be also done in action or project management tool, for more information, please have a look at our blog: Do you have the right tools?
3. Establish the Project Portfolio
Once you have all the relevant status and progress data, you can consolidate them in an overview combining all projects in the company (portfolio) or in a certain function (program). Similar to No. 2 this overview an be generated manually or some of the tools described in the tool link.
Establish a clear Project Portfolio overview enables you to:
Track and align project outcomes within the company
Solve potential resource conflicts between the projects before they happen
Prioritize projects according to the urgency for the business
Control costs as accumulated factor over all projects
Measure the impact projects have on the operational business outcome
We would also recommend to put PMO (Project Management Office) or one central project manager in charge of the project portfolio rather than the CEO or a function head to create a more neutral and supporting role on projects.
For more information on Project Portfolio Management and how to start it in your companies please reach out to us on contact link or directly to email@example.com