Project Portfolio Management

The Right Way to Implement Portfolio Management: Baby Steps

Portfolio management is a great asset for a company to possess, however too many companies become blinded by excitement and implement it too quickly. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Wanda Curlee explains the proper way to execute the beginning stages of portfolio management.

The best way to integrate portfolio management into your organization is to take baby steps, because if something goes wrong, there is less to lose and it is easier to abandon. Step one should be to arrive at a consensus about which portfolio management methodology your company would like to use and begin to take steps to make it happen.

If you are unsure which path is right for you, look at the resources readily available. In today’s world, organizations often lack the surplus of resources to deliver everything they could possibly want, so they need to make the decision about what is most desired. Which resource is giving you the most difficulty? After that is decided, develop your portfolio roadmap by listing every project you would like to deliver and in which order.

The next step is to get a rough estimate about the costs for each component. Yes, the numerical dollar amounts are important, but also keep in mind the more abstract costs. Develop a small list of factors to help you determine whether there is low, medium, or high risk. You can develop a simple visual to illustrate this by drawing three concentric circles. The first being the value, then the cost, and finally the outermost circle is the risk.

After there is a visual, it is time to go back to the roadmap and see if the circles align with the anticipated risks. There are of course more elements to look into, but this simple system will help you to slowly integrate portfolio management and arrive at a better conclusion for anticipated results.

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