10 Project Portfolio Management Implementation tips based on real world experience

Author: Rachel Hentges

There are many different approaches to implementing project portfolio management software and professional service automation solutions.  All with varying degrees of success.  In this post, we offer 10 real-world tips to get you started on the route to a successful implementation. Based on 20 years of experience and lessons shared by the KeyedIn Excellence implementation team, here are our 10 tips.

#1 Get a sponsor that cares

Someone who will use the system themselves and set a good example….and also breaks through internal politics to address the laggards and luddites that will always be there!

#2 Prototype to get it right

People need to touch, feel and experience the solution to really understand what it means!  With a SaaS business model, a free trial can help get this process started early.

#3 Don’t automate something you don’t understand

Building sophisticated Integrations, Workflows and Reports in the early stages is wasted time. Instead, wait until you understand how things are really going to work through the experience of live running.

#4 Make it easy to get right first time

Ensure the user experience is simple and slick, rather than having to put lots of effort in later with training and quality assurance checks for errors

#5 You start from where you are, not where you like to think you are

Honestly assess your organisation’s maturity and aim the solution at a reasonable level above that – rather than trying to implement everything at once. You will just leave people behind otherwise.

#6 Use the solution to record agreements and support the work, rather than try to automate everything in workflow

Heavy workflow just encourages people to find creative ways around updating the system. You will not replace interactions and discussion outside the system….so just make them visible to everyone.

#7 Run the project…like a proper project

Don’t assume this is “Business As Usual” it’s not. The people change side is probably more important as you are often dealing with Project Managers who are not used to being told what to do by someone else.

#8 Good is good enough

Perfection is very expensive and time-consuming, so focus on getting the critical, important things working well enough first. Often those “bells and whistles” were never needed anyway.

#9 Focus on the actual Implementation part of the project most

A difficult project can be made into a success by an excellent implementation – but the converse applies too! Invest in training, communications and floor-walking/contact at go live to make sure it lands as expected.

#10 Multi-skilled Implementation Consultants

Ideally find one that can work End to End, reducing hand-offs, misunderstanding and providing instant responses. That’s what we do!

For further insights on how to implement project portfolio management into your organisation, why not download our PPM Implementation guide.