You may be familiar with the popular TV sitcom, Friends, quote, “PIVOT!” as Ross and Rachel attempted to fit a couch up a narrow apartment staircase. The year 2020 brought this quote to life for many organizations and it wasn’t moving their office furniture around. It was the need to pivot and adjust funding as their business environments began to quickly change with the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic.

KeyedIn CTO, Matt Muldoon, stated, “Effective portfolio management becomes especially relevant when the PMO has to start saying no. As the available resources and investment dollars shrink, the PMO needs hard data around capacity, value and strategic alignment in order to prioritize a portfolio of projects and ultimately say ‘no’ to some less promising initiatives.”

This couldn’t be truer for organizations as the COVID-19 pandemic came about. For many organizations, this led to a frenzy of reactive adjustments just hoping things work out. For others, they embraced the challenge and leveraged project portfolio planning software to strategically pivot business priorities, adjust funding appropriately, analyze real-time capacity and pull back where needed. This meant saying “no” to those projects or portfolios and ultimately pivoting priorities, adjusting funding or capacity and/or pulling back on initiatives that may no longer be high priority or deliver the most value.

Project portfolio management software allows PMO leaders to quickly and strategically make adjustments to funding or capacity based on real-time organizational needs. COVID-19 is only one extreme example of why PMOs may need to evaluate their current portfolio or projects and make adjustments. The video below covers some examples of how Universal Electronics was able to navigate shifts in portfolio investment of resources using project portfolio planning software to ultimately deliver those adjustments very quickly.

The importance of PMOs and businesses to be able to pivot cannot be more crucial. This means that organizations are no longer looking at planning on an annual basis, but on an on-going quarterly, monthly or even weekly basis as well. With project portfolio planning software, this planning becomes simple. The real-time data that it provides gives PMO leaders a view into their real-time capacity and realization of benefit from every single project in their portfolio. Ultimately, giving them the keys to prioritizing the projects that will deliver the most business value at the end of the day.

In a recent virtual event, Ruth Bedingfield of Office Depot, talked about how project portfolio planning software allowed them to analyze real-time business data which provided clear transparency on portfolio prioritizations layering on top of the resources required to support that and also the benefit realization that came with that portfolio delivery.

Ruth also stated that with the access to that key information from project portfolio planning software, Office Depot was able to put together three different scenarios to present to their leadership team involving some varying cost reduction and level of impact of benefit realization. These scenarios were pulled together quickly and allowed them to pivot their business plans accordingly.

Ultimately, PMO leaders with access to project portfolio planning software have a real advantage when shifts in business priorities or changes in the business environment occur. If you are feeling like your portfolio is a couch trying to fit up a narrow and winding staircase, remember that project portfolio planning software can help you pivot and make it up the next flight. The real-time data that it provides allows them to strategically adjust and pivot their resources, investments and more to ultimately deliver the value the business expects from their PMO.

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Rachel Hentges
PMO Influencer
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Rachel Hentges

Rachel Hentges is challenging PMO leaders to think differently about their role. Rachel is the author of key industry related surveys, reports, blogs and more that challenge the status quo of today’s PMOs.