April 28, 2011 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Uncategorized
The logic of portfolio management is clear to virtually everyone. An organization can’t hope to complete every possible project that’s dreamed up without encountering conflicts over resources. There must be a mechanism to decide how many projects can be completed and which have highest priority. All very logical.
Unfortunately the simple logic of portfolio management runs into some serious problems in the real world.
- What prevents portfolio management from being easy to implement in large organizations?
- Too many cooks in the kitchen.
One of the root causes of project failure in large organizations is that too many people (managers and executives) are permitted to authorize projects. Projects are initiated at every level of management, and the projects’ inputs (resources) are ‘over committed’.
The result is low level warfare between projects as each department fights for its own priorities. Project managers are assigned a project and expected to fight it out with other PM’s in an ongoing battle over scarce resources.
The organization is the loser. While it’s argued that a competitive marketplace is a good thing in most situations, it has an undesirable effect when it comes to project resources in large organizations.
Rather than having projects completed on the basis of their contribution to the overall organization, they are completed on the basis of a manager’s or functional department’s priorities or as a result of a PM’s coercive skills.
In effect, projects end up being haphazardly prioritized on the basis of low level managerial priorities rather than high level strategic priorities.
Successful portfolio management requires radical change in the way that corporate strategy is articulated and managed in a multi-department organization.
Brian has graduate degrees in Oceanography (M.Sc.) and Finance (M.B.A.) as well as PMP certification. He has published numerous articles and manuals in the field of management science with particular emphasis on project management and decision making. Brian has been involved professional development training since 1999.
This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Project Management Blog. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at www.globalknowledge.com/business for free white papers, webinars, and more.
No comments yet.