August 16, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Portfolio Management
Project Portfolio Management as a Line Organization
By The Grumpy Project Manager
Projects are different and so are project managers. Project management follows certain principles and standards defined in the initiating organization. In addition project managers create a personal style to manage projects according to their personal qualities. So even if projects were similar they would become different when managed by different project managers.
Typically project management organizations have a project portfolio manager, program managers and project managers. Project managers are fully responsible for managing one or more projects. They plan, execute, communicate, control etc. in different ways. This may be very confusing for stakeholders who participate several different projects. The quality of projects may seem inconsistent when they are managed in different ways, even though all the used management styles were of good quality.
One way to manage a development project portfolio would be to view it as a business process. There we have different people for different functions like for example marketing, sales, tendering, production planning, production, logistics, assembly, services. This enables consistent quality and even branding. In project portfolio management this would mean that one project manager would not be responsible for one project in its all levels and phases, but a certain part of several projects.
A marketing & Sales project managers -team would be working closely with the clients to negotiate new projects and to discuss about projects in progress. They would know what has been sold and would manager possible changes of project content, and would take care of communication.
A production planning & production project managers -team would plan the execution order of tasks of different projects according to their priorities and optimal use of resources. Furthermore they would take care that tasks of projects are executed like planned. This enables efficient use of resources and seeing if a suitable amount of projects are going on at the same time.
A logistics & assembly project managers -team would take care that done work is delivered to the customer for testing and finally real use. They would also give feedback to project portfolio management whether the organization can digest all the done development.
This would require having three types of project managers who would utilize their personal strengths in their own responsibility area. Clients would see a stable project organization that works the same way in all projects. Project team members, like programmers, would work and report the same way in all projects enabling better productivity and quality. End users would learn that project outcomes are always brought to testing and real use the same way.
This way there would not be Jane’s, Jim’s or Bob’s or Betty’s projects in which clients, developers and end users would need to be prepared to work in a different way depending on the project manager in question, but instead consistent corporate IT development projects. This way of working can be used together with proper project portfolio management only.
The Grumpy Project Manager is a program manager in an international corporation and has over ten years of experience in managing R&D, IT and business development projects. You can read more from the Grumpy PM on his (or her?) blog. S/he can be contacted by email at TheGrumpyProjectManager@gmail.com.