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Whitepaper: Portfolio Management 101: Moving from ‘Just’ Project Management to True PPM


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Many organizations claim that they practice project & portfolio management (PPM), but it frequently turns out that they are only carrying out consolidated project management. True portfolio management is a much more strategic approach, which regards the project portfolio as the means of executing upon organizational goals.

This distinction, though minor on its surface, is profound in its implications. Organizations that fail to adopt portfolio management risk making costly mistakes throughout all aspects of project delivery – including approving the wrong projects, managing them incorrectly, failing to recognize business-related warning signs, and consistently failing to achieve expected results.

Learn how to:

Achieve a strategic portfolio management focus
Manage PPM as an end-to-end process, from ideas to benefit realization
Create consistency in developing proposals and business cases
Focus on business outcomes rather than project deliverables
Build a successful portfolio management culture at the grass roots level

Published in: Technology, Business
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Whitepaper: Portfolio Management 101: Moving from ‘Just’ Project Management to True PPM

  1. 1. Andy Jordan October 3rd, 2013
  2. 2.   Portfolio management vs. consolidated project management End to end management ◦ Before the project ◦ During the project ◦ After the project  Strategic Management ◦ Goals and objectives focus ◦ Harmonizing portfolio, program and project management ◦ Portfolio management culture  Questions
  3. 3. Consolidation Portfolio Program Project Portfolio Management Program Project Project
  4. 4. •Idea generation and development Pre •Portfolio modeling and selection •Management and control Project •Alignment monitoring •Benefits realization Post •Variance correction
  5. 5.  Communicate priorities  Encourage idea capture and sharing  Consistent business cases  Portfolio modeling  Decision support  KPI alignment
  6. 6.  Manage to portfolio goals and objectives  Adjusting execution to changing needs  Compensating for delivery variance  Ensuring alignment at all levels of project execution
  7. 7.     Adjust expectations based on actual deliverables Ensure planned benefits are achieved Identify and implement corrective actions if required Lessons learned (benefits realization)
  8. 8. Programs Projects Portfolio Goals
  9. 9.    All work is driven by the need to achieve goals and objectives Project and program needs are of secondary importance Projects may be „sacrificed‟ for the good of the portfolio
  10. 10.  Strong relationship building  Understanding of strategic priorities  Understanding of individual contributions  Establishing concept of a complex ecosystem
  11. 11.     Requires ongoing executive support Requires commitment from all stakeholders at all levels Can fundamentally change the organization‟s effectiveness May drive structural change for project execution – EPMO, new processes, etc
  12. 12. Jay Hoskins October 3rd, 2013
  13. 13. Recipe for the PPM Sweet Spot Defining the problem Key themes for success Implementation scope Implementing the themes Problem solved Questions
  14. 14.  PMI compliance  Project Management  Time reporting  Status reporting What Business Leaders Want  Competitive advantage  Do more for less  Innovation and alignment  Better decision making
  15. 15. Close to Project / Far From Results Don’t bother me with status, I have a project to run Team Member I never know what to do next and am constantly interrupted with changing priorities Program Manager My program roadmap is constantly in jeopardy Resource Manager I have to do major adjustments every month to the resource plan Executive Sponsors / Approvers Your asking me to approve stuff with no clear business case or priority Portfolio Managers / Business Unit Managers I keep asking for improvements but never see any results PMO Far From Project / Close To Results Project Manager No one is communicating status with us CEO / CIO / Executives / Management I can’t see how your project benefits the P&L but your asking for more money?
  16. 16. • Adoption – Easy to use and simple • Crawl, Walk, Run – Use easy, effective, and proven processes first • Enterprise systems that follow adoption principles are enablers • Alignment – Business driven Business Leader… (Do this) PPM Deployment Manager… (not this) Improve competitiveness in our markets Visibility, Project Status, PMI standards, Be on time, Report Status, Time tracking • Performance – Measure your results • Top performers only have 10% unplanned work • Top performers regularly meet revenue and savings targets
  17. 17.          Strategy Management – Ability to model, quantify, and measure business strategy Demand Management – The ability to define work in terms of business strategy Prioritization – Ability to score and select demand based on business value and strategy goals Governance Board – Ability for stakeholders to create business strategy, and execute portfolio decisions based on that strategy Quality of Execution – Ability to measure the quality of executing the currently defined PMO process and strategy execution System of Record – A single source of truth (like PowerSteering! ) to manage the portfolio and relevant information Collaboration – The ability for everyone to have visibility and transparency in order to easily participate in the governance process. Milestone/Deliverable Management – The ability to ensure that key milestones are met and visible Benefits Realization – The ability to measure the results or impact of the portfolio on the business strategy.
  18. 18. Crawl Walk Run Project Portfolio Management Maturity Capability Levels Project Portfolio Management Maturity Levels
  19. 19. Several key portfolio management capabilities were missing and will significantly improve value delivery and productivity when deployed. These are organized across four capability categories: Governance - No major gaps. Optimize Demand:     Prioritization Selection Roadmap Resource Capacity Execute:  Deliverable Management  Project Health Analyze:  Benefits Realization  Quality of Execution  Roadmap As-Is
  20. 20. • Adoption • Alignment • Performance
  21. 21. The top 3 responses all had to do with ease of use, the “just-right” level of functionality and being simple and appropriate for each person. Satisfaction is all about adoption and value delivery, not features
  22. 22. Close to Project / Far From Results Projects status manages itself and my reporting time is reduced by 75% Team Member My work dashboard is clear, easy to use, and the project managers leave me alone to get more work done Program Manager The program roadmap now has clear objectives and we are delivering results more predictably Resource Manager The resource plan has stabilized with more focus on the right work and much less unplanned work Executive Sponsors / Approvers It’s clear the budget is going to important work with business impact Portfolio Managers / Business Unit Managers My portfolio review meetings have been cut in half and we make better project decisions PMO Far From Project / Close To Results Project Manager I seldom have to bother the managers with status reports and the executives get the right reports at the right time automatically CEO / CIO / Executives / Management We are spending less and getting better service levels than our peers
  23. 23. About PowerSteering PowerSteering combines the robust project and portfolio management (PPM) functionality demanded by global organizations with the cost & speed-to-value benefits of cloud delivery and an unmatched level of flexibility. Easy to use and administer, it enables top-down program & portfolio management without requiring granular task & resource tracking, and provides class-leading analytic and financial tracking capabilities. Leading global organizations, including Merck, Staples, the US Department of Defense, and the UK National Health Service, rely on PowerSteering to accelerate results in IT, New Product Development, Process Excellence and Business PMOs. PowerSteering is part of the Upland family of cloud-based project, portfolio, and work management software products. Visit for more information.
  24. 24. Contact Andy Jordan at: @RoffensianPM Contact Jay Hoskins at: PowerSteering‟s Business-Driven PPM Blog