When Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Goals are Clear, Critical Decisions Get Easier
Project Portfolio Management’s (PPM) high-level promise is providing a clear line of sight from the C-suite all the way to the project execution level, hopefully ensuring that a company’s strategy is being supported by choosing the right projects and managing that portfolio of projects correctly.
With the right tools, management can watch budgetary, resource and delivery KPIs at the desirable level. Without having to drill down into the level of detail required by an individual project manager, a the C-suite can quickly tell if projects are delivering on goal.
The first and foremost imperative of PPM practitioners is to select projects that hew to the overall business strategy. Complementary to this, tracking profitability, optimal resource usage, scope and delivery can give leadership a clear, real-time view into how the current project portfolio is impacting the organisation’s health. Learning to keep tabs on the proper indicators, at the proper level, ideally enables leadership to continually pick better projects and help position the company for future success.
Clear Goals + Clear View of Projects = Ability to Act Decisively
With a goal in view, project portfolio management tools tell management when those goals are in danger of not being met. Having ensured that a project is on-strategy, the right tool can now alert decision-makers when projects start to stray. Sometimes the cause of drift may even be a change in company strategy. In either case, executives can see and act quickly to bring the project portfolio back on track.
Serious problems can occur if leadership misses the moment of decision: unprofitable projects continue to drag along, pulling resources in their wake, burning out staff and frustrating valuable customers. Stepping in to terminate non-strategic time-wasters and shift resources to projects that could or are delivering against goals exemplifies the kind of agile course correction that is now possible. Leadership can see the project portfolio develop in accurate snapshots instead of waiting for bad news to filter up through the organisation—by which time it may be too late to recover.
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