A project portfolio is a set of projects and programs that envision the same kind of goals. The act of managing these projects to check if they are in line with the organization’s business strategy is project portfolio management.
With the help of this management process, project managers and project management offices focus on forecasting and analyzing the returns per project implementation in the portfolio. They collate all the available data of ongoing and offered projects. They then create a trajectory of the project(s) vis-à-vis the portfolio to prioritize ventures based on the available capital, risks involved, duration, and profitable yields. It is also about creating transparent processes for the organization’s project management and project delivery.
While doing so, a company could come across several hurdles. Let us look at the difficulties that could be faced by the project portfolio management approach.
Difficulties Faced by PPM in an Organization
- The management does not know what to expect from the project so that it could be grouped under the right PPM. Failure to identify the right project makes it a liability for the PPM in the long run.
- Team members feel queasy about the constant monitoring, which PPM requires, to have a thorough knowledge of the project progression. It seems to most as micromanagement, and it negatively impacts the work culture.
- Improper staff understanding about the dynamic changes made by PPM leads to resistance to adoption.
- The project management of the organization is not mature enough to be in favor of PPM. The more mature the project management is, the easier it is to implement PPM.
- The senior management is not ready to absorb the purpose, benefits, and value of PPM.
- Management cannot control the employees who are resisting the change.
- Adequate budget for PPM is not present, as well as the tools to implement it, since there is no executive sponsorship towards the cause.
- There is resistance to adopt a common approach for project management by teams because they have evolved their own methodologies.
- Risks are not identified at an early stage.
When project portfolio management is not implemented in an organization, the following happens:
- Project managers can adopt the 5-question model (pictured) of PPM at the start of the project to know if the project is suitable under PPM.
- The organization should know its own capabilities. The PPM best practices might be very popular, but those have to suit the organization’s infrastructure and protocols.
- Necessary knowledge-sharing with relevant teams about the benefits and values of PPM and how it will provide higher returns by frequent evaluation of the process will lessen the resistance.
- The senior management needs to be encouraged to come to an agreement about using the same protocols when their projects are under the same portfolio, so that the process can be institutionalized faster.
- The management has to create a platform for an open dialogue where the people resisting the change can come up with risks and concerns. External consultation can be sought, if needed.
- Prepare proper documentation of premeditated risks, concerns, and solved issues for future reference.
- Usually, those projects are prioritized that already have allocated budgets. However, the budget has to be assigned based on how the project influences the portfolio and the organization in the end.
- Work should be done in phases rather than in one shot so that new trends and customer demands in the industry can be incorporated in the development.
- Instead of depending solely on the PPM tools, manual supervision can be leveraged to have a better outcome.
Having a PPM approach helps the organization to create an atmosphere where constructive discussions can be made before the developmental process takes place. As risks involved in the projects come to the forefront during the decision-making sessions, those are mitigated soon. The resources are utilized to the maximum, keeping in view their efficiency and dedication. Nevertheless, any kind of approach initiative will bring forth preliminary reluctance to adopt and adhere to the procedures. The above-mentioned scenarios are some of the common difficulties faced by PPM when an organization tries to establish the approach in its governance. The only way forward is to address the issues outright with proper mechanisms.