Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Portfolio Management – Review 1 (MoP)

The three reference books identified on the previous post have their own process models
  • Management of Portfolios(MoP) – OGC (now Axelos)
  • Portfolio Management Standard (PMI)
  • The Wiley Guide to Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Over the next two posts I will review parts of the two main publications and include thoughts from the Wiley Guide.

We can explore the models for similarities and differences, not to chose one model as the only path to Portfolio Nirvana, but rather to look at the practices and processes that will fit within our own organizations and business environments.

I am not seeking to cause process chaos by proposing a cut and paste from different models, but simply to help people understand that they do not need to become a slave to one model.  

They can legitimately choose a core model to adopt as a guiding philosophy for their portfolio management approach and then utilize concepts / processes from other models to tuning to suit the business environment, creating their ideal for their organization.

This post will explore the Management of Portfolios (MoP) Manual from Axelos, originally developed with the Office of Government Commerce in the UK.

"MoP® is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved"All figures and images in this post are copyright of AXELOS Limited

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

What is this thing called Portfolio Management?

In May's blog we explored the meaning of project success and it was clear that project management is focused on doing the project right, with a wider view of success identifying the need to deliver on more than the key constraints of time, budget and scope.

Over the next few weeks I will explore Portfolio Management which is predominately about choosing the right projects that are aligned to the organization's strategy.

For those who wish to research deeper the sources for this series are:

  • The Wiley Guide to Project, Program and Portfolio Management
  • Management of Portfolios - Published by Axelos in the UK
  • The Standard of Portfolio Management (Third edition) - published by PMI

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Project Success - Part 4 - Reasons to be Cheerful


Wrapping up this series on Project Success I want to revisit some of the earlier themes and identify what you as the Project Manager or Project Owner can do to enhance the likelihood your project being judged a success.

We have already identified in previous entries that a key theme of success is to understand what type of project the organization is initiating or selecting.  

Organizations tend to opt for simplistic assessments of project type. They often equate difficulty of their projects based on size
  • how big the scope is
  • how large a budget will be required
  • estimated time / duration for the project
  • team, etc... 
They use $ and estimated counts to categorize their projects and it is true that bigger projects have a higher risk of failure. However, while size of project brings its own set of unique challenges, the real issues that drive the difficulty of projects are:
  • complexity in the solution, and the stakeholder relationships
  • uncertainty of requirements, or in the project environment
  • urgency of delivery
These issues bring an order of magnitude increase in the difficulty of a project, well above the challenges of a large big project.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Project Success - "Projects are like Chalk and Cheese"

This is the third part in my thoughts on Project Success:
The key points from the first two parts are:
  • Project Success cannot be judged by the triple constraint.
  • The triple constraint of time cost and scope only address the project efficiency dimension of success.x
  • Different projects have different success measures depending on your point of view as a stakeholder
  • Shenhar and Dvir identified five dimensions of success which could be used as a model to identify the success criteria for a project
  • Success criteria has to be built into the project from the first step and then reflected in its plan, demonstrating how the project will deliver the outcome
I believe this evidence also points to the need for an organisation to develop its PM reward system to be based on more than just the traditional triple constraint. 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Wish for Serendipity, take advantage of the fluke, and never trust to dumb luck!

Graph Cartoon 7231: Serendipity is up, fluke is doing well, but I’m a little concerned about our dumb luck.
Of course we all want Serendipity to visit us on our projects, we welcome help from any source. A Project Manager can increase the chances of our friend Serendipity visiting the project by:

  • Being alert, 
  • noticing what others do not see, 
  • putting together the project jigsaw as the new pieces emerge in the form of issues, ideas etc...

How does this all relate to project success?  

Successful projects do not just happen. A Project Managers career is going to be a short and painful one if they do not understand how to set up their projects to be successful. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

How do you measure Project Success?

Projects are everywhere in business and life and we have a myriad of books, professional bodies to help build skills and knowledge needed to manage a project. We are training and certifying project managers for their knowledge and understanding to ensure we have a professional to manage the project. But the consensus seems to be that we are still doing projects badly with 30% failing (depending on which figures you look at this could be as high as 70%). 

In these austere times we cannot afford to waste resources $ and peoples time on failures. We need to pick the right projects and we need them to be successful.

So if projects are still failing how can we (project management professionals) significantly improve the chances of success beyond the definitions and guidance written in the BoK's and Best Practices?  

I believe one thing we can do is create a common understanding of what is meat of project success and how we can significantly improve the project outcome to enable it to be successful.

Hence the subject for May will be to explore "Project Success" and how do we demonstrate it to the project stakeholders (which group care about what measures). 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Operation Revitalise!

It has been a while since my last entry 
(sounds like the start of a confession). 

Well I am back in the saddle and ready to start blogging and helping improve the Project Management Competency of whomever wishes to read my musings.

Over the next 8 months (the rest of this year) I will be focusing on set subject themes for each month with the occasional drift into where-ever the conversation goes.

These are the themes (but I am open to requests/suggestions).

  • May: Project Success
  • June: Portfolio Management
  • July: Transformation Projects
  • August: Stakeholder Engagement
  • September: Issue Management (revisited)
  • October: Risk Management (the sister of Issue Management)
  • November: Governance in all it's forms 
  • December: Estimating and Planning - A refresher of a core skill
These new blogs will include books to review/read. At the beginning of the month I will publish details (titles etc...) of the book or books that I am going to be reading to study the subject.

I'm looking forward to revitalising this blog with some lively relevant content!

Suggestions for potential postings within each month welcomed.

If you want to know more about me then you can view my profile on linkedIn