Drive Where Your Program Is Going


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A portfolio can include multiple programs, and/or the projects within a single program can be a portfolio. A portfolio is just a logical grouping of projects under a common leadership structure.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions, like WorkOtter, are inputs to a decision maker’s judgment process. Any solution should ensure thoroughness and structure the information in a way that allows a decision maker to make a decision. This includes helping the decision maker know what information is firm, what information is fuzzy, how the information was processed, what information was excluded, and what the solution recommends. The decision maker then must assess all the input before factoring in his or her experience or intuition and making the actual decision.

This 7 part Guide to Portfolio Management Essentials walks a decision maker through the different factors of portfolio creating and planning.

Part 1 of 7: Regulate Capacity Utilization
Part 2 of 7: Prioritize the Portfolio
Part 3 of 7: Assess Where Your Program Has Been
Part 4 of 7: Understand Where Your Program Is Today
Part 5 of 7: Drive Where Your Program Is Going
Part 6 of 7: Business Cases
Part 7 of 7: Strategic Elements of the Portfolio

Part 5 of 7: Drive Where Your Program Is Going

In considering new projects for the portfolio, you need to answer three essential questions. These questions should usually be answered before a business case is developed, and they should be answered at least to a reasonable level of confidence before resources are spent, creating a full-fledged business case. The three questions are as follows:

    • 1.Why do this at all?

 

    • 2.Why do it this way?

 

    3.Why do it now?

These questions should have rock solid answers. Answering them ensures that you engage in some thought before spending resources to prepare a project for approval.

Before implementing any project that creates or changes a business process, be sure to address the following questions:

1.Does the customer understand the process being created or changed by the proposed project? Understanding means the process has been mapped to identify bottlenecks, failure-risk points, and other elements whose improvement can be measured.

2. Have the key components and/or measures of the process been identified? Every process has a few key components or drivers. If metrics for these key process components do not exist, establish them now.

3. Has the natural process variation for the overall process and its key components and/or measures been calculated? Every component has natural process variation associated with it.

4. How much is the project estimated to improve the process and its key components? Since the natural process variation is known, the customer should be able to establish the impact (business goals) of the changes the project will have on the component or metric.

If these four questions can be answered with credibility, you have a worthy project. If not, the project should be removed from consideration until there is understanding.

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.