Critically evaluate the strategic value of project management and project portfolio management, paying particular attention to their potential impact on project management life cycles, project offices, change management, resource management and organisational change.
Demonstrate understanding and initiative in the application of project portfolio management tools, techniques and processes to achieve improved business practices and performance and integrate sustainable project outcomes.
Develop and defend arguments both for and against the implementation of project portfolio management in a range of organisations.
Assessment 4 builds upon the second assessment but focuses on the implementation of project portfolio management. This assessment is designed to highlight the skills, methodologies, tools and techniques required in project selection and management of a portfolio in order for an organisation to meet its specific business objectives. As organisations become more multi-faceted, evaluating the performance of their project portfolios becomes more complex and new methods of evaluation must be developed to account for this complexity.
Improving performance is also a key determinant for achieving organisational success which, in turn, is related to the project portfolio management maturity level of the organisation which may vary considerably. During implementation, organisations will be impacted by changes created by project and portfolio management initiatives and the project manager’s response must be cognisant of the corporate culture in which it is taking place and the strategies needed to account for any adverse impacts.
You have been successful in convincing executive management that your organisation should introduce a project portfolio management function and now that all the planning has been completed, you have been given the responsibility for its implementation. However, not everyone in the organisation is convinced that it is the right approach to take and you can already feel the forces of resistance starting to build from those who will be directly affected by its day-to-day operation.
You have determined that the status quo for managing projects in the organisation is not an option and will argue against it at every opportunity. The best way to convince your colleagues of the benefits of implementing project portfolio management is to review the processes and assess whether improvements to project selection, performance and success have been made, greater potential exists for aligning the business operations with strategic objectives, the benefits of enhanced portfolio management and evaluation to meet more complex needs are evident, and whether you think there is the potential for improving the maturity level of the organisation in project portfolio management in the future.
You recognise that during implementation, the changes created by the initiative have caused resistance from colleagues and that your assessment must be cognisant of the corporate culture in the organisation and include strategies to account for different perspectives from key stakeholders and any other adverse impacts this may cause. In responding to this ‘challenge’, you have decided to document your findings in a report that will be presented to executive management as part of the organisation’s annual review process which addresses the following requirements:
Is the organisation investing in the right projects?
Is the organisation optimising its capacity?
How well is the organisation executing?
Can the organisation absorb all the changes?
Is the organisation realising the promised benefits?
What method is the organisation using to evaluate its overall project portfolio?
What is the justification of using the chosen method in comparison to some of the others that are available?
Are there any challenges that the organisation might face in using the current method if it were to operate in a global environment?
Is the benefits management lifecycle incorporated in the evaluation process?
How might benefits management be helpful in successfully meeting the deliverable goals of the organisation’s projects?
How is project portfolio management ensuring that the organisation’s collective projects are aligning with its strategic objectives?
Has a Project Management Office been introduced into the organisation and, if so, has it played a role in terms of standardising practices and increasing project success rates? If not, why not? What alternative approaches are available?
What quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques is the organisation currently using to manage its project portfolio and are they effective?
At what maturity level do you believe the organisation is at in terms of its approach to project portfolio management?
What are the key best practices which can be adopted to improve the maturity level and which model (e.g. PRINCE2, OPM3) do you think would be appropriate?
How might you go about implementing this change and what assistance from the organisation would you require?
Assess the corporate culture of the organisation and whether it is likely to be different in terms of key internal stakeholder influence and input (e.g. HR Director, Technology Manager, Facilities Manager, Accountant).
Will any change management initiative in terms of project portfolio management process improvement and benefits realisation need to take into account the different perspectives of these stakeholders and what concerns might each stakeholder express?
What aspects of the corporate culture do you think would support project portfolio management and its sustainability criteria?
Are there any challenges involved in getting project portfolio management and its sustainability criteria embraced by the organisation?
In considering these requirements, be mindful of the differing views and staff perspectives on the benefits and potential outcomes and highlight key instances where the implementation of project portfolio management is having both positive and/or negative effects and how they should be addressed.