Project Management Communication: Part 3 of 3

In this final installment of the Project Management Communication series, we look at a vital project management tool. This system has provided visibility to senior management, as well as justification for projects based on the expected value of each product in its planning stage, and in projects both in progress and completed.

What Is Project Portfolio Management?
Project portfolio management (PPM) is a resource system that permits an enterprise to collect (or document), maintain, and view information on the various stages of all its projects. This allows the project manager to classify and assign priorities for each project, using specific criteria such as strategic value, and determine the impact on the organizations resources. The fundamental goals of PPM are to shed light on individual elements of a portfolio and to understand how individual projects relate to the overall goals of the enterprise. This is achieved by the ability to add, sort, move, and remove items within each portfolio if it is determined that certain projects or elements within a project contribute cost without being aligned with the initial purpose of a project. In other words, needless cost is reduced and more efficient work flows are created.
How Do Project Managers Benefit from Implementing PPM?
One of the major benefits of PPM is that it provides the means for project sponsors and stakeholders to benchmark cost savings and business process improvements, during both a project implementation and its post-project audit review process.
Many organizations’ strategic business decisions involve changing a process or introducing technology. The project manager is the person in the organization mandated to execute and introduce these changes, within the specified time frame and within budget. Project managers are faced with many conflicting objectives. It has been documented that the key reasons projects fail are a lack of resources, or the use of available IT resources in an undocumented, unscheduled, ad hoc manner. These issues can be indications that the project portfolio is unbalanced or undocumented. Project managers’ job satisfaction stems from managing available resources efficiently and under budget in order to deliver quality projects and to satisfy sponsors and stakeholders.The use of PPM can assist the project manager in realizing these goals.

Indications that PPM May Be Needed in Your Organization
• Resources are not available to staff a knowledgeable project team.
• Projects are delayed due to insufficient resources.
• The status of projects is constantly changing from “active” to “on-hold,” to “inactive,” and back again to“active.”
• Individual departments are unenthusiastic and uncooperative, and generally lack commitment to projects.

How PPM Benefits Your Organization
Project managers, by virtue of their ability to continually benchmark deliverables and to identify and anticipate resource constraints, are able to reassign resources ahead of time, before a constraint problem develops. This permits resources to be acquired or reassigned according to assignment prioritization. Additional benefits include the following:
Greater visibility of project expenditures
With the ability to view all project portfolios across the organization, management can view the costs assigned to a particular project or budget.
Impact of business decisions on IT
With PPM, management can make decisions not solely based projected costs, but on the ability to compare data to a specific impact on a job function, like customer service.
Project deployment strategies more predictable.
By being able to view the entire portfolio of projects across the organization, the ability to identify and plan for resources ensures that outsourcing costs are managed according to specific requirements.
For more information on PPM and vendors that offer PPM solutions, please visit TEC’s Project Portfolio Management Evaluation Center ( You can also read white papers, vendor comparisons, and articles that discuss documented improvements organizations have made.
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