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4 Ways to Manage an Overwhelming Number of IT Initiatives

Suddenly, CMOs, CFOs, COOs, and the next door neighbor all seem to want a project out of IT. This may give the company CIO or project portfolio manager a newfound sense of power, and rightfully so. But TechRepublic’s Patrick Gray has four warnings to keep the popular PPM from becoming overwhelmed.

1. On Saying “No”

Gray cautions against putting up a “No Vacancy” sign to keep out new initiatives. Cloud service vendors and outside consultants are perched like hawks, waiting to fill your service gaps with the swipe of a credit card. Instead of refusing excessive project requests, see if you can identify new initiatives that would make old tools or applications redundant, or that would make the organization more stable and connected as a whole.

2. Avoid Shiny Objects

The return of ample funding post-recession also brings the return of “gee whiz” projects that only create confusion via a disjointed IT environment. The function of organizational strategy is to reign in unnecessary initiatives, especially those of IT folks, who may drift toward maintaining a high-profile technical status at the expense of delivering expected value to the business.

3. Stay True to the PPM Role

Remember that you are a project portfolio manager. You are an expert at maintaining portfolios, at investing in projects with the ability to balance short-term gains with long-term value:

If you invest in a dozen multi-year projects and there are no results, patience will likely wane. If you invest solely in the short-term, you may miss a key foundational component that derails your grand plan.

Instead, spread your funding across core growth projects with a dash of support for risky R&D initiatives to keep things dynamic.

4. Have an Alibi / Vision

Lastly, the pressure of many new IT projects requires at least this one alibi – you have a short-, medium-, and long-term vision for your ongoing initiatives. You might be able to use this policy to reject any proposed initiatives that do not subscribe to all three lengths of vision. In this veritable IT renaissance, it’s nice to have options so long as the options don’t end up owning you.

Read the original article at: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/4-ways-to-manage-an-overwhelming-number-of-it-initiatives/

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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