The success of a business can depend highly on its ability to effectively manage and deliver its portfolio of projects. This helps ensure business goals and strategic objectives are met on time and on budget. The importance of managing project portfolios should not be taken lightly.
Here are my top five best practices to help effectively manage project portfolios:
- Achieve a complete view of all projects – It is important for organisations to have a single version of the truth when it comes to project status. This eliminates questions and helps individuals prioritise and support the projects that need attention.
- Initiate project governance for consistent processes – Ensure individuals and the business are held accountable for missed deadlines and wrongfully executed projects. By standardising the project process, reporting and status of projects remains consistent across the entire organisation, making it easier to track the outcome of projects resulting in greater efficiency overall.
- Select and prioritise the right projects – Not every project has the same urgency as another. It is important to recognise the hierarchy of project completion based on organisational goals and be able to facilitate the higher priority projects first followed by those not as high on the list.
- Forecast the cost of delivering the project portfolio – Since profitability is key for a successful organisation, it is important to track the costs of project portfolios on all levels and monitor them accordingly. You must have the visibility to track a project and determine if the project should be cancelled based on the costs exceeding the benefits of completing it.
- Provide real time status reporting for executives – Executives are often the ones making the business decisions and it is important for them to have real-time visibility of project statuses in order to make the best decisions for the organisation. These status reports can eliminate many risks involved with non-communicated project issues.
Start managing your project portfolios with these practices, and see the difference in efficiency and profitability.
Whilst it is possible to manually manage a portfolio of projects, this is not efficient, takes considerable effort and introduces risk into the process. For optimum management of portfolios an IT system is essential. I advocate the use of KeyedIn Projects which is a cloud based package that can be quickly implemented in any size organisation.