Managing Your Portfolio – Leaping those “Change” Moments

As PMO Portfolio, Programs, and Projects struggle to get the most out of their IT resources, capacity management and risk management issues essentially start rearing their heads once the portfolio is in the execution phase. …

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Managing Your Portfolio – Leaping those “Change” Moments

As PMO Portfolio, Programs, and Projects struggle to get the most out of their IT resources, capacity management and risk management issues essentially start rearing their heads once the portfolio is in the execution phase. As a result, management efforts frequently fall short in managing the efficiencies, effectiveness, and fluidity required to sustain alignment between capacity and demand of the portfolio.

So how do we keep our portfolios solid with the influx of change requests that come in?

 Help business leaders understand that IT resources do not and cannot expand exponentially just because demand ramps up, even if they do not want to hear it. I’ve used several analogies to drive the point, however, the easiest one is using the example of selling a home to help them understand for example, immediate payoff takes time, planning and luck!

 Some organizations’ intentions and efforts are focused on doing too much at one time. This can backfire as attrition among resources lead to repercussions such as incurring failing projects. Understanding company dynamics and project intake processes helps to categorize projects into work streams that are achievable with the available resources. In other words, set confines for the project pipeline to ensure that it is capable of yielding more favorable outcomes – focus on throughput and performance, rather than commencing many projects at once.

 Most IT organizations run at high risk of being inefficient and ineffective at project delivery simply because resource management is poorly executed. However, not all the blame goes to IT; the business unit must understand the strengths and weaknesses of their IT team and gauge what they realistically can and cannot deliver.

 Business project objectives regularly overshadow the ability of IT to complete the project for lack of capacity and sometimes, a specialized skillset. In cases such as this, having an outside consultant to handle short term, specialized project aspects on the backend is essential.

Understanding your business demands and resource attributes (i.e. roles, skills, experience, and domain knowledge) helps increase portfolio, program, and project execution success. Fluidity among application areas that includes outside companies readily available to pitch in to meet project demands is also part of having a balanced portfolio mix. Lastly, always plan for contingencies as the direction of the wind in the sails of your portfolio can change in a heartbeat. Remember, when it comes to getting back on track and managing change, you are only as good as your last backup!

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