IT GovernanceProject Portfolio Management

7 Sins That Leave Project Portfolio Management Feeling the Burn

Is it hot in here, or is it just your project portfolio management, roasting the organization with its hellish inefficiencies? Let’s grab a thermometer and find out. In an article for Inc., James Kerr counts seven sins that can happen when organizations try and fail to become project-oriented:

  1. Insufficient strategic planning practices
  2. Inability to identify and scope achievable projects
  3. Scant leadership commitment
  4. Meager foundation-setting
  5. Incomplete portfolio management practices
  6. Skills deficits
  7. Substandard communication

Fiery Ambitions

As is well established, portfolio management’s purpose is to ensure projects are aligned with strategy and properly resourced. If there is not a solid plan in place for how portfolio management is going to achieve this, then that is a pretty big hole in the boat already. It could be that leaders are not eager to shift to a more project-centric business structure because it could mean a loss of power or an undesired increase in transparency. That is why portfolio management must be championed by someone at a very high level, who has the ability to get everyone else in line.

Yet even when everyone is willing to try, that is no immediate guarantee of success:

Even with good strategic planning practices in place, many businesses falter when it comes to properly identifying and scoping initiatives to incorporate into their strategic plans. It seems that translating “gaps” into initiatives is an unnatural way of thinking for may senior leaders. But, projects must be defined to create a project-centered culture. Here, again, the use of outside, expert advice can help the leadership learn how to properly determine the projects needed to evolve the business.

Standardized project management practices, perhaps championed and maintained by a PMO, allow individuals across the business to better understand how projects are run and measured. You may find early on that not enough skills exist in the business to take on all of the desired projects. In these starting times, hiring outside experts will work as a stopgap, but skill development and targeted hiring will be better long-term solutions.

The major point to remember in establishing or reestablishing project portfolio management practices is to get specific about proper protocol for operating procedures. More maturity will occur naturally over time, but the framework you begin with must be sound. That is how you keep everything from going up in flames later.

You can view the original article here:

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