Project ManagementProject Portfolio Management

Complexity Clogs Project Environments’s Corrine Forrest gives us an idea on how complexity slows down, or even worse, completely halts a technology project. The most common scenario is wherein project portfolio management (PPM) environments suffer from bloated, complex solutions that delay project delivery and make PPM a discrete function rather than a core organizational capability. It is essential to remove this, but first you must address complexity in the context of value creation. Unnecessary PPM convolution arises from increasing misalignment between the needs of the project environment and the processes supporting it. It is easily managed once identified, but this part is key.

Simple Approach

The easiest approach to analyze and pinpoint where exactly the complexity is and how it impedes effectiveness is through the Project Management Office (PMO). Only a few PPM consultants and some PMO managers understand what PPM complexity looks like. PMOs can boost PPM environment effectiveness by eliminating complexity with no value and supporting PPM processes, frameworks and business rules to a streamlined, integrated operating model.

The challenge with eliminating complexity is, of course, that the short-term actions which reduce costs and create reliability can also expose other performance problems. The key task is to manage the balance points by attacking environment complexity first (the superstructure), process complexity next and only then focus on performance issues. The reason is this: Complex processes often reflect poor environment design. If you attempt to deal with performance issues first, without streamlining the operating model and simplifying processes, you find even more complexity cropping up in some other process area.

Being selective definitely would go a long way here. In getting rid of complexity, selectivity should encourage you to lessen or eliminate some processes altogether, which can improve project environment performance vividly, if done within the context of the operating model.

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Kristian Dayrit

Kristian Dayrit was the Associate Editor and Content Writer for AITS Philippines. He has edited and wrote various published works, articles, newsletters and such since 2007.

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