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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A Recipe to Avoid PM & Execs Meltdowns…

2016-12-06_1559Sports teams often find the perfect recipe for success through trial and error. Once found, it’s hard to change until a new challenge comes along or the chemistry of the team changes due to a lack of collaboration. Why do championship teams sometimes have a meltdown when it counts? Well, it can partially be attributed to the lack of course correction needed to adjust to the opponents’ game plan. To course correct, teams need to be solid, with collaboration from the top down, and have a fluid strategic, tactical, and execution plan to mitigate changes throughout the game.

Using sports teams as the metaphor for successful collaboration between the Portfolio Manager and Executives, collaboration and risk management are key to ensuring that the strategy, tactics, and project execution are intact to achieve the business objectives. Below I’ve outlined three approaches to successful collaboration:

A) Strategic Portfolio:  Never fails if the business justification & value is on target

Executives seem to have an adequate strategy to execute the business plans. However, is the strategy flexible enough to adapt to rapid changes throughout the year(s)? Does the Portfolio Manager have a clear understanding of the strategy? As an example, the BlackBerry device had the right strategy, which made it a formidable competitor; however, without proper adaptation to consumer needs, they easily became outdated and are no longer a viable competitor.

B) Program/Project Management Tactics: Never fail until executed

Everything may look good on paper, but it’s all about execution. Execution as defined as, “The carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action.” Without the right resources and skillset, don’t expect the project to succeed. This is why collaboration with risk management is crucial in planning and creating successful backup plans as change starts creeping in. The Portfolio Manager must clearly understand the tactical plan and be able to summarize in high level the execution of the tactics involved to Executives, Sponsors, and supporting cast when needed.

C) Commitment to Execute: Success or Failure:

The difference between success and failure is how each project phase is executed during the lifecycle, as with every play of a sports event. For example, in baseball, each pitch thrown can be the difference between a strikeout, home run, hit, or walk. Hence, a 100% focus on project execution for each phase/sprint determines the cumulative success of the project, provided it is coupled with the right mix of collaboration, resources, and skillset. As Project Managers focus on the day to day tasks, the Portfolio Manager must be engaged enough to measure the commitment to execute according to the plan.

Until next time!


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