Portfolio Management Critical During Recession

When money is tight (and when hasn’t it been these past years), it’s essential to know how your company is spending money, and why. That is why Meridith Levinson says project and portfolio management should be one thing nobody should skimp on. According to IT leaders and researchers, the high level of project failure makes managing projects – and early recognition of projects which don’t support the business – increasingly important. Levinson’s article demonstrates this truth with an example provided by David Muntz, CIO of Baylor Health Care System. Something seemingly innocuous when described, but when researched by the IT department, is found to cost much too much in a down economy: One example: Recently, says Muntz, the IT department was asked to move a printer from one side of a hallway to the other. Muntz says the IT department used Planview to estimate that moving the printer … would cost $1700 based on the labor involved and the cost of adding circuitry. IT quickly determined that moving the printer wasn't worth the effort and was able to explain why to the business. The ability to identify project to avoid is one that may not come to mind for many, but it’s just as important as determining what projects are important to undertake. It’s through the ability to intelligently undertake (or avoid) projects that IT can help the business reduce cost and increase project value. The article then lists other tools used by IT leaders to help determine what projects should or shouldn’t be initiated, but the overall lesson as described by Muntz is simply that the tool itself isn’t the key: it’s the methodology built as the tool begins to integrate into the organization. The methodology is what enables the proper use of the tool, which ultimately leads to saved money and time with avoided, unnecessary projects.

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