Project management is a complex domain, which encompasses everything a project entails from start to finish. Project managers have to deal with numerous factors to steer their projects to a successful completion. Portfolio Management of project is an important component that plays an important part in a plan’s execution. Before we move any further, let us look at what project portfolio management really is.
Project Portfolio Management
According to Project Management Institute, Project Portfolio management is defined as “The central management of processes, methods, and technologies used by project managers and project management offices (PMOs) to analyze and collectively manage current or proposed projects based on numerous key characteristics.”
Now that you have understood what project portfolio management is, let us move on to some tips that will make effective project portfolio management possible.
Focus on Process, Not Methodology
Although, it might sound a little strange to project managers but the fact is that project management methodologies are static and become obsolete but the processes remain the same. Project managers need to stay focused on the best practices and processes and scale these processes to fit on every project irrespective of its size and type. If project managers do it well, they can manage project portfolio effectively.
Stay away From Trends
The project management industry is evolving on a daily basis. New methodologies replace the older ones. When it comes to hassle free project portfolio management, it is better to stick to tried and tested processes and best practices in the industry. Never follow a project management process or methodology just because of its popularity. Trends do not take longer to fade so stick to the processes and methods you can trust.
Optimize Resource Allocation
To complete projects before the deadline and inside the budget, it is imperative that you manage resources carefully. That is where task management software comes into play. With intelligent task allocation mechanisms of project management tools, you can get the best out of your team without overburdening and overwhelming them.
Intelligently allocating resources is not enough for successful project management. You need to keep monitoring the progress and keep an eye on how the allocated resources are used. If you optimize resource utilization, half of your project management problems will be resolved.
Collaboration Feature in Processes
Successful project portfolio management is not possible without collaboration features in processes. Project management systems can play a positive role in maintaining uninterrupted enterprise communication. Many companies prefer using an existing platform for collaboration rather than moving all their data to external repositories.
With a seamless communication channel, you can easily improve the workflow, boost productivity and enhance the efficiency of an organization. More importantly for project managers, it enables them to juggle multiple projects at once without making a mess. When all your team members are on the same page, achieving your project’s objectives will not be a problem. All of this also helps a great deal in managing your project portfolio.
Conduct Regular Process Reviews
Reviewing the process is critical for successful project portfolio management. Project managers should always conduct periodic assessment of processes to bring further improvement in them. This tactic will not only help you in identifying the loopholes in your processes but also help you to come up with solutions to fix them.
All successful project managers take a proactive approach instead of a reactive one. It is better to act rather than waiting for a problem to occur. This way, you could develop a mechanism to prevent any problem before it occurs. As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Be Flexible Within Structures
In today’s dynamic project environments, you need to be flexible even within a tightly structured setting. Your project portfolio should have processes that provide scalable workflows so that it could fit easily even if the project size and type varies. If you follow a rigid path in current project management environment, you will not be able to survive.
When you are flexible in your approach, you can get the best out of your resources without overburdening them. It enables project managers to execute their plans more smoothly. Follow the guidelines given in PMO processes carefully and you can easily overcome all the project management related issues.
Don’t Strive For Perfection Early
If you try to go for perfection from the outset, you will take much longer time to complete simple tasks and your project could exceed the deadline, which will not go down well with clients. The better way to go about things would be to do the critical things right and try to complete the project on time. If there is some time left before the deadline, you could iron out minor flaws and strive for perfection at this stage.
At the end of the day, project managers need to be flexible and stick to the tried and tested processes and methodologies rather than stepping into uncharted territories. Following trends without knowledge can be disastrous. Always stay in a process improvement mode and make sure that your processes are designed in a way that supports smoother collaboration.
If you want to survive and thrive in today’s highly dynamic project environments, you will have to be flexible. Always remember that you have limited resources so allocate them to the right people, monitor how they are utilized and track progress to ensure that your resources do not go to waste.