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8 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Project Portfolio

Notice that the word ‘solution’ resides within resolution. A re-solution is therefore an existing solution that deserves another try. When it comes to project portfolio management, there are at least eight resolutions that deserve to be tried in 2015. Jen Skrabak brings these to our attention in a post for Voices on Project Management.

Eight Resolutions for 2015

  1. Lead the Portfolio
  2. Stay Agile
  3. Woo the Business with the 5 Cs
  4. Enable C No. 6 – Cultural Innovation
  5. Let the Data Decide
  6. Engage with the World
  7. Trust your Instincts
  8. Find Meaning in your Portfolio

1. One must differentiate between the role of a manager and the role of a leader when dealing with the project portfolio. To ‘lead the portfolio’ is to think in terms of profits and losses, and to calculate expected returns and risks relative to the projects being advanced.

2. The portfolio, like the best IT units, should be dynamic and agile. A keep-the-lights-on approach may be necessary at first, but in the long run will only hinder you business’s ability to thrive.

3-4. In you quest for more resources and support, you will have to woo your audience (the business) using a language that is clear, concise, credible, creative, and compelling (yes, the 5 Cs of communication). Oh, and there’s a sixth C that is ultimately crucial to your mission beyond communication. That sixth C is culture. Make sure yours is one of innovation, in both short term and the long term.

5. That being said, make sure your attachment to certain projects does not interfere with how you perceive the hard facts. In the end, look at the numbers when deciding which projects to keep and which to abandon.

6-8. Keep your stakeholders in mind at all times. In the broadest sense, ‘stakeholders’ means your community, family, and world. Minding the business allies and project sponsors is self-evident. What’s more, that little voice in the back of your head is your institution. Listen to it! Oftentimes we’re solving problems in our sleep and those gut feelings are indicators that something needs to change. Finally, keep the fire of innovation well stoked by looking for what inspires you and your team throughout 2015.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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