Focus on the Right "P" in "PPM:" Driving Results with Top-Down Portfolio Management

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As the first “P” in “PPM” suggests, the practice of Project & Portfolio Management often represents nothing more than an outgrowth of project management. Once the volume of projects and project …

As the first “P” in “PPM” suggests, the practice of Project & Portfolio Management often represents nothing more than an outgrowth of project management. Once the volume of projects and project managers achieves critical mass, the concept of portfolio management emerges from the rather basic organizational challenge of managing a lot of moving parts at once. Read this white paper to learn how this top-down approach offers a more practical alternative to existing PPM maturity models.

Read the full paper here:
http://info.powersteeringsoftware.com/Top-Down-Portfolio-Management-Whitepaper.html?description=top-down-ppm-wp-slideshare&source=Slideshare

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  • 1. DRIVING RESULTS WITH TOP-DOWNPORTFOLIO MANAGEMENTFOCUS ON THE RIGHT “P” IN PPM THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WHITE PAPER
  • 2. Driving Results with Top-Down Portfolio Management Introduction As the first “P” in “PPM” suggests, the practice of Project & Portfolio Management often represents nothing more than an outgrowth of project management. Once the volume of projects and project managers achieves critical mass, the concept of portfolio management emerges from the rather basic organizational challenge of managing a lot of moving parts at once. In this evolution, PPM is simply project management in the aggregate: a means to track a large number of projects and people at one time. This “bottom-up” perspective informs the way many organizations both conceptualize and deploy PPM. The problem with this model is that it puts too much emphasis on the wrong “P.” Optimizing the quality of project execution means little if the organization is not working on the right projects in the first place. To deliver the most benefit to the organization, the primary focus of PPM must be on the portfolio – a “top down” approach. Projects that are both on time and on budget but are misaligned with strategic goals or redundant with other work in the organization represent nothing more than corporate waste. To realize the most value from Project & Portfolio Management, emphasis should be placed on the business processes of project prioritization and selection, which together are often referred to as “demand management” or “demand optimization.” Only once the business is sure it is doing the right things need it concern itself with whether or not those things are being done the right way. Focusing on Value: The PPM Capability Model To further codify what is meant by such a “top-down” approach to PPM, PowerSteering has developed the PPM Capability Model (Figure 1). It categorizes Project & Portfolio Management into 4 key business processes: Demand Optimization, Governance, Execution, and Analysis, and defines three levels of capability (Crawl, Walk, and Run) within each. This approach offers a more practical alternative to existing PPM maturity models and differs in three key ways. Rather than treat all PPM processes equally, PowerSteering has developed estimates of the relative value of each activity and capability phase based on data and experience with program portfolios at over 150 major organizations. Consistent with the argument above, this places significantly more value on the top level of demand optimization and governance than the more tactical areas of project execution and reporting.PowerSteering Software 25 First Street Cambridge MA 02141 1.866.390.9088 www.powersteeringsoftware.com 2
  • 3. Driving Results with Top-Down Portfolio Management Using the classic 80/20 rule, PowerSteering attributes greater value to creating a basic level of rigor and discipline within each capability area than the incremental benefit of advancing from that basic level to more advanced approaches. PowerSteering does not advocate advancement to the next level of capability as a goal unto itself, but rather encourages organizations to assess their current capabilities and pursue those incremental improvements of greatest value. For much of your organization, a brisk “walk” may be the ideal level of capability and control to balance effectiveness and overhead. Conclusion As such dramatic results testify, organizations looking to build a successful PPM practice should avoid approaches that focus on perfecting project management processes first and only worry about the portfolio later. Strategy execution, as former CEO of GE Jack Welch often proclaimed, is about doing the right things in the right way. The unspoken corollary is that if you’re not doing the right things, how well you do them doesn’t matter at all. Adopting “top down” PPM, which emphasizes optimizing the investments in the portfolio, ensures the organization only works on those projects that align with corporate objectives and deliver the most value. In this way it delivers better program results, and with less effort, than attempting to build portfolio management capabilities from the bottom up. Read the full white paper now. PowerSteering Software is the leader in business-driven project & portfolio management (PPM) solutions for managing IT Governance, New Product Development, Performance Improvement, and other Business PMO initiatives. Its easy-to-use software provides executives at BayCare, Johnson Controls, Merck, PolyOne, Shaw Industries, UK National Health Service, US Department of Defense, and over 140 other customers with executive visibility, strategy alignment, and team productivity to drive strategy and accelerate results across the organization. PowerSteering was rated “Strong Positive” in the "MarketScope for Project and Portfolio Management Applications" published by Gartner, Inc.PowerSteering Software 25 First Street Cambridge MA 02141 1.866.390.9088 www.powersteeringsoftware.com 3