Monthly Archives: January 2014

Portfolios are Personal

Think about your portfolios. Your portfolio of investments. Your portfolio of art. Your portfolio of achievements at work. These portfolios are personal. Where most enterprise project management applications fail is that they do not allow for the personal nature of portfolio management.

Of course, and organization has a portfolio of initiatives. It is usually going to be managed around some strategic plan. Plans breed initiatives, initiatives breed programs, programs breed projects. This is the organization’s view of the portfolio. This portfolio bridges teams, geography, even organizational boundaries, and ties multiple, disparate teams together.

That being said, at each level of this hierarchy – organization, initiative, program, and project, there are different portfolios to manage. Making a project manager who has only one or two projects work off the organizational portfolio makes no sense. This is why individual projects are usually managed individually.

However, at the program level, individually managed projects are hard to combine, dependencies across projects are hard to manage, and version management is a hassle. Of course, this works right into software vendors’ hands, as  upgrades, additional products and higher licensing costs promise to “fix” these issues.

What is really needed is an easy way to combine and recombine projects, sub-projects, and programs to the needs of the individual who must manage his or her own portfolio. Why shouldn’t the same projects be able to be categorized, managed, updated and rolled up in many different forms to meet the personal needs of each stakeholder?

This is the social approach to portfolio management. And this is what ProjExec 6 provides.

See ProjExec 6 at IBM Connect, Booth #222.

Next Post: Strategic planning from the bottom up…

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ProjExec 6 – Taking Social Project Management to the Next Level

Social Project Management is about engaging the team in collaboration around its project and project schedule. But what about disparate teams working on multiple projects on a program, or even multiple projects that are related only at a strategic-initiative level?

Program and Portfolio Management tools have attempted to address this issue but are, in general driven by top down, hierarchical planning.  So, what would a “social” approach to Program and Portfolio management look like?

Social is about getting people the tools they need to create and manage their own “reality”. Portfolios at the organization level are different than portfolios at the person level. Whereas an organization’s portfolio has a certain structure, at each level of the organization, a person’s “portfolio” has a much different structure. An individual program manager, a manager of projects, or a project team member may each have a portfolio of projects to “manage”.

In many cases, these “alternative” portfolios are not organized in the same manner as the hierarchical structure of the organization’s portfolio. So, a social approach to program or portfolio management should allow both the organization’s view and multiple, alternative views of project structures to be represented and executed – simultaneously.

Over the next week, we will  present several posts about this idea. But to get you thinking, here is a video about ProjExec 6, which attempts to bring top-down and bottom-up social program and portfolio management together in a single, social product.