As a project manager, you run into challenges on a daily basis. For every project you manage there are a lot of things to consider. There is resource allocation, budget, risk, and priorities. You may have found several incidents where your projects collide like freight trains! There may have been some actual re-work needed, and possibly some loss of money due to improper planning on a larger scale. That is where project portfolio management or PPM comes in to play.
What is project portfolio management? Quite simply, project portfolio management is the way you manage your projects together. I know, it is hard enough working the details of each particular project, so when do you have time to manage things from a higher level? It might help to know that some proper PPM at a higher level may save you a lot of time now and later. Not only that, but also having good project management at a higher level will save your company money, achieve your goals faster, and win you a lot of points with your boss.
Project portfolio management starts by taking a complete inventory of all the projects you are currently involved in. There should be enough detail captured so that you can measure some key factors such as the cost of each project, the resources involved and the goals. What you are trying to gauge is the impact that each of these projects have on the company in comparison to one another. This way you can have a detailed idea of how much of the �pie� each of these projects takes.
Next, you want to get together with all the project leads, team leaders and possibly even some stakeholders to determine some things about all of these projects. Given the information you have gathered, which projects are not making any headway? Do you need to re-allocate resources to suit the projects needs? For projects that are running smoothly, can you move resources and budget away? You will want to also prioritize the projects under your control. You will find that a little bit of prioritization will lessen the stress of the entire team and enable more motivation to the company’s primary goals.
After inventory and prioritization are accomplished, it is time to schedule some timely follow up with team members regarding the status of all projects. As we know, the priorities of a company often change and so it is important the project managers, team leads and resources are aligned in order to advance the projects with the proper priorities aligned. These meetings can be scheduled every week or every month, based on the input from team members but should not be so much as to take up valuable resource time.
With good project portfolio management, a project manager can measure and report accurately on the state of affairs across an entire platform for a client or even multiple clients. Goo project portfolio management ensures that resources are being used wisely, rework is virtually eliminated, and that cost savings are maximized. Good PPM is the key to keeping projects rolling smoothly along and also getting the most out of your resources.