Portfolio health, as with physical health, has a lot to do with how fit you are. According to Mario Trentim of Project Management Institute, having a bunch of projects does not constitute a fit portfolio. The key is to have the project portfolio aligned with the overall strategy of the organization, and Trentim gives some tips as to how to get to that point:
First, define “project portfolio.” A bunch of independent projects does not make up a portfolio — it is simply a group of projects. A portfolio is composed of multiple projects aligned to help the organization execute its strategy. Second, define “portfolio management.” Portfolio management enables organizations to identify, select and prioritize the investments that will maximize business value. The major components of portfolio management include supporting strategic objectives, ensuring value creation, prioritizing projects based on their relative importance, managing the flow of benefits and integrating stakeholders around business objectives.
Make no mistake; implementing a solid portfolio management is no easy task for anyone. If you find that you are having issues in this area, rest assured you are not alone. If you are one of the many who find good portfolio management to be difficult, Trentim lists three “simple” steps that industry professionals use:
- Define all your projects and proposals.
- Identify your resources and categorize them.
- Figure out your decision-making structure regarding selection and prioritization, and map it using a spreadsheet or enterprise project management software.
Clearly, the part that makes these steps “simple” is that they are easy to tell someone to do, but much less easy actually do. However, putting forth the effort to make your portfolio more fit is a step in the right direction. You may not do everything correctly the first time, but you will be better off than if you continue to just stare at a pile of projects.