EPM Live PPM Briefing Series: We’re not Mature Enough for PPM! – Part 2

In part 1 of EPM Live PPM Briefing Series, “We’re not Mature Enough for PPM!,” Harvey Levine debunked the maturity myth surrounding Project Portfolio Management (PPM). PPM is not an issue of level of maturity, it’s an issue of making projects count. 

In this article Harvey explains how Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is going to improve the way you manage projects.

What is PPM going to do?

  • It’s going to help you structure the pre-project phase, bringing order and precision to evaluating and selecting projects.
  • It’s going to obstruct the politics and bullying that often favors weaker projects over the most beneficial ones.
  • It’s going to help you manage the projects in the portfolio so that failing projects are identified and evaluated for ability to deliver their promised benefits.

How big or mature does your firm have to be to benefit from these capabilities?

What does it take to elevate your firm from just managing projects to building and managing portfolios of beneficial projects?

  1. Create a connection between the projects and operations components of the business.
    • Yes, this does suggest that there might have to be some adjustments to the way that your firm does things. If you’re not already doing this, it’s a shift in culture that is overdue. Executive governance must be integrated with project management to assure that projects are selected and managed so as to deliver benefits to the firm.
  2. Develop a process and culture that integrates consideration of strategic plans, resources, and business objectives into the process of managing projects.
    • Without this, there is no guarantee that the efforts to complete a project will actually deliver benefits to the firm.
  3. Create a structured methodology to integrate the processes that support the expanded project portfolio lifecycle.
    • There is a natural flow of processes that guides the PPM team through the various phases of the PPLS. You can learn the basics from reading articles (check the EPM Live website), reading books (including mine), or engaging a consultant for a short time (alleviating you from re-inventing the wheel or spinning wheels).
  4. Add capability to your project management software to support the expanded methodology.
    • For starters, investment in tools can be kept to a minimum by “renting” SaaS software that runs in the cloud and does not require an in-house support group.

I suggest that you start off small. Try a pilot program on just a segment of the business. Then, when you get it right and start realizing increased benefits, you can sell it to the rest of the firm.

It doesn’t take much to take the first step. Why not begin now?

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Harvey A. Levine, with 50 years of service to the project management industry, is a pioneer in the field of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). Mr. Levine is the author of three books, and over 275 articles, whitepapers and videos on Project Management. His 2002 book, “Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools”, is still available from John Wiley & Sons. Mr. Levine’s 2005 book, “Project Portfolio Management, A Practical Guide to Selecting Projects, Managing Portfolios, and Maximizing Benefits”, Jossey-Bass, is a Wiley best-seller. Mr. Levine is past president and chair of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and a PMI Fellow. For more information on Harvey please visithttp://theprojectknowledgegroup.sharepoint.com.