How to create a project management portfolio
What is a project management portfolio?
A project management portfolio is a gathered collection of components that will help an organization’s strategic goals. The components often include programs, processes, and projects. When talking about a single project, there is often a defined goal and expectations. When talking about a project management portfolio it’s often a way to continuously make the process more efficient and structured by prioritization and scheduling across several different projects.
The project management portfolio is a way to connect strategies and execution which means a higher chance of success. Usually, the person in charge of the project management portfolio is a so-called portfolio manager. The biggest goal for this person is to ensure that the portfolio supports the strategic organizational goals. It is also important to work with project portfolio management because workers and budgets sometimes are required in different areas and projects at the same time. It is also important to note that projects are often combined in different areas.
This is something the portfolio manager can do through analyzing budgets, predictions and managing the expectations of the different stakeholders. In the project management portfolio, there are at least four things to keep in mind. You need to define the priorities and strategic considerations in the organization in question. You need to also find all data to find out how it differs and you need to analyze and review this data closely and thoroughly. Then, you need to combine everything you found out and communicate it to the different stakeholders.
How to get started on the project management portfolio:
First of all, what you have to do is to create an overview of all of the projects that are about to start, already have started or that will potentially start at some point. Next, you need to put them into categories, considering where those projects are in their process and what strategic goals the company in question has. You’ll have to ask yourself: do these projects support the goals in question? The most important thing is to always think about the strategies and budgets of the organization as this is what will determine how well you’ll do with project portfolio management. Creating the project management portfolio takes a bit of time but is worth it in the end. Here we’ll guide you through the process and help you make your project portfolio management better.
How to create a project management portfolio?
When creating a project management portfolio you can choose to use software specially designed for this task. There are a few out there and they are easy to use. Whichever one you choose, if any, there are some basic steps you’ll need to follow.
- Define projects: It is important to note that not everything that is going on in the organization projects. A lot of it can be defined as ongoing operations. You’ll need to analyze what makes a project. This can also help you organize the projects into project size. Is it a small project? Or a big one? This will further help you determine the methods you want to use. Remember to only add actual projects and not operations to the project portfolio. When picking projects you can use criteria such as the number of departments that are involved in the project, size of the teams, timeline, and size of the investment.
- When should a project start?: First of all, you’ll need to get an overview of all of the projects that are requested both internally and externally. Then you’ll need to define a process in which you decide what projects should be initiated or not and in what order.
- Define how to prioritize: When working with project portfolio management, you’ll need to keep prioritizing all the time. It is not something you do once and are then done with. And every time the circumstances change, you’ll have to redefine the priorities. You can help yourself with this by looking at different aspects such as how much you can increase customer satisfaction or optimize cost efficiency.
- What projects are already running?: It is important that you make an overview of all projects running right now. To do this you can choose to use a software for project portfolio management. List the important information about the project such as timeline, cost, sponsors, and project manager. Check if the effort is prioritized well, meaning if the work is going into the most important projects. At this point, you can also define and choose to stop projects that are not important.
- Can you begin new projects?: Now it is time to combine new projects with the projects that are already running. To do this, you need to add the new projects to the portfolio of projects that are running. Check budgets and work capacity and see if it fits with starting a new project. You’ll need to look at the new project’s cost and work requirements. Plan the start of new projects.
- Track the projects: When you have prioritized and planned projects you’ll need to keep an eye on them when they’re running. It is up to you to report and update the process from time to time. You’ll need to do this to determine when new projects can start and how they should be managed.
- When a project is done: It is important to have a process for when you close a project. You need to review the projects and compare the outcome to the initial goals and budgets. In this step, it is also important to note that you need to communicate what you find out, store the data in a way that can be analyzed later, and also let the project manager know that he or she is no longer working on this project because it is finished. It is important to make it official that the project is done so that the people involved know that they can go on to work on other projects.