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Project Portfolio Management

3 Steps for IT to Learn to Talk Business

The easiest way to capture someone’s attention is to offer them something exciting. However, what a system admin finds exciting might be different than what excites an executive. IT needs to recognize that nuance. In an article for Smarter with Gartner, Chris Pemberton gives three steps for how IT can learn to talk business. All the Right Words Pemberton says to focus on the business’s wants and desires first so you can tailor your response …

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Overcoming Firefighting Mode in Your Organization

Research has documented the value of project management at various levels and in a variety of organizations. In the research study Researching the Value of Project Management by Janice Thomas, Ph.D. and Mark Mullaly, PMP, the researchers found that in both public and private organizations there were measurable improvements in productivity and business outcomes. Well-executed project management, which fits within the culture of the organization, creates repeatable processes that can lead to sustainable innovation through ever-improving efficiency. …

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How You Can Improve Business Support

While on a support call recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through long hold times, dreary music, and being transferred from person to person with no end in sight. While I waited I had plenty of time to think about what could be done better not just for this experience, but also from my own perspective to improve interactions with my own business. Listen More, Speak Less First, start by listening to your business—really …

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Using the Hierarchy of Purpose to Prioritize Your Company’s Projects

Every business makes an effort to track and prioritize projects, but too many of those efforts are hollow. For instance, implementing a project management tool to track projects and compare benefits will do no good if nobody can be convinced to use it. It requires a comprehensive and committed strategy to understand a business’s project portfolio and plan accordingly. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez introduces the “hierarchy of purpose” to achieve …

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Portfolio Governance: Ensuring Alignment to Strategy with Definitions

Out with the old and in with the new! In a continuation of a portfolio governance series, Jen Skrabak, writing for Voices on Project Management, elaborates on basic governance functions per PMI’s new Governance of Portfolios, Programs, and Projects: A Practice Guide. There are four fundamental elements to governance: Oversight Control Integration Decision-making Oversight, in reference to governance, refers to providing guidance in the creation of portfolios. Control is the monitoring and measuring of the …

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Initiating Projects: What to Do When Process Gets in the Way

When supporting project initiation decisions, effective process can consistently lead to extremely effective decisions. The problem for most of us is that we don’t work in an environment where there is effective process. In actual fact, the presence of solid, well-meaning and useful initiation processes is incredibly rare. While most organizations claim to have formal processes for project initiation, in a large number of instances these do not lead to better initiation decisions. The challenge …

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Top 10 Signs Your Company Needs Project Portfolio Management

The truth is that any business could benefit from project portfolio management (PPM). However, if you find your company running into the following signs, you could be in more dire need of PPM than most! Sign #1: Project and resource managers often fight over resources. Example: The head of the Finance department asks IT services to install a new accounts payable system. When approached by the project manager requesting to assign two financial analysts to …

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10 IT Basics That Business Managers Need to Know

From your computer at work to brushing your teeth, technology has managed to permeate almost every aspect of human life. It has become essential for everyone to understand some basics about technology, even those outside of IT. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett shares 10 of the most pertinent concepts every manager should know about IT: Defining how new technology can help How to work with IT vendors Understanding what IT truly does How …

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Using the Program Blueprint for Program Management

Is there a hidden tool that will help you to add value to your program? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin discusses what she believes to be an essential element to programs: the blueprint. A Program Compass To begin with, what precisely is a blueprint? A blueprint helps to define the vision statement of the program, as well as the capabilities it will deliver. Basically, it defines what the program will …

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How to Use Metrics to Optimize Service Delivery

I want you to think about all the different types of organizations you worked for. Whether they were Finance, Communications, Energy, Agriculture, or Transport, there was likely one similarity among them: The reporting that was done from an IT perspective did not produce metrics that mattered. Why? It’s simple—we (as an IT organization) tend to loop endlessly on the metrics as they apply to IT. We must move away from thinking that “recovery from failure …

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