5 Strategies that Strengthen your PPM Process 

The need for a Project Portfolio Management tool arises from the fact that project management is a juggling act between communication skills and technical know-how. 72% of Chief Information Officers find it difficult to balance business innovation and operational excellence. Besides, as project competitiveness tends to become a deciding factor for winning new businesses, Project Management Offices are being setup now more than ever. PMOs function smoothly when processes and PPM complement one another.

With market shifts influencing the direction where business is headed,  a strong PPM process influences adaptability. It has the markings of governance, resource optimisation and project prioritisation. Those projects that align with the business vision and maximise profitability to the enterprise is a testament to the Project Management Office’s ability to identify and implement a viable PPM process. Here, we aim to give global project managers a head start with 5 strategic tips to make their processes seamless.

1. Address the Process Vs. Methodology Debate

While there is no one-size-fits-all methodology, as your business attracts more projects, it is important to simplify the project lifecycle with a bespoke process. Methodology differs according to the line of business (LOB) and type of service rendered, which means  that what worked well for one organisation may not perform in a similar manner for another. The Agile manifesto values interactions  more than processes. However, processes benefits organisations more by their permanence.

Methodologies can fizzle out like they have in the past, leaving you and your project in the lurch. A process, on the other hand, contains steps that evaluate, implement and deliver projects within a certain methodology, thus preventing impulsive decisions or hasty actions from severely impacting Business As Usual activities.

A dedicated PPM tool incorporates processes from the basic level, bringing about a preliminary framework within which a suitable methodology would sit. It ensures that the methodology does not stray far from the perimeters of the process, thereby giving  project managers the control over every aspect of the project lifecycle.

2. Allocate Resources Optimally

It’s the people and their contributions that drive your projects. A whopping 75% of respondents from a survey conducted by The Aberdeen Group claimed to not have an overview of resource utilisation levels beyond a month which means a lot of projects underwhelm stakeholders simply because the resources on them don’t contribute enough. If you want to extract the best out of your resource pool, then optimal resource utilisation has to be viewed as a comprehensive long-term strategy.

In order to get your projects right, they have to be staffed with available and qualified resources. By optimising the resource pool you access these resources immediately, ensuring that no single resource is over or under utilised. A PPM tool prevents scheduling discrepancies from cropping up across the enterprise.

An optimised workload allows your resources to use their skills to their fullest potential without being burdened  It brings available resources to the forefront, which expands your billable hours and potential for increased revenue. It sees to it that no resource invests heavily on projects deemed unfeasible.

3. Cooperative Collaboration

A breakdown in the communication chain leads to poorly documented projects that don’t offer value or profitability to the enterprise. Your PMO has  to invest in a work culture that encourages harvesting healthy levels of team collaboration. To go about fostering a cooperative environment, transparency is  an intrinsic component.

A flat organisational hierarchy encourages both your junior and senior staff to contribute ideas for overall betterment. Inputs obtained collectively help you devise strategies for efficient business processes. Moreover, it makes you approach project management from a profit-centric angle. Free flowing communication informs everyone of their roles and responsibilities, ensuring that they’re working towards the same goal. Communication makes it easier to share vital information on projects due, enabling resources to be at their productive best.

4. Review your process regularly

This goes without saying,especially given how changes to a process influence the success or failure of methodologies adopted. Processes have to be periodically reviewed in order to analyse ongoing and future trends that can directly impact your organisation.

A lot of projects suffer from delayed feedback that undermines the comprehensive progress thereby causing a delay in the whole process. In addition, apart from your project review itself, you really need to sit back and evaluate whether or not you have invested in the right areas of the process.

While smaller teams can get away with set processes, a large PPM has to have an internal audit. It helps to have process owners at various stages and encourage them to streamline the framework adopted. Organisations go as far as incentivising processes that are most efficient, thereby giving owners the impetus to actively plug loopholes.

All in all, when you are a part of a PPM unit, you cannot wait for project failure to be an indication of process inadequacies.

5. Perfection and trends are not for short-term

A PPM process can be successfully introduced to the organisation after highlighting the benefits it brings to the stakeholders most likely to be affected. That being said, it is imperative to manage expectations by providing tangible examples of those service areas that can be improved.

It wouldn’t be realistic to strive for perfection from the very beginning. Instead,  the focus should lie on structuring the process so that it has room for flexibility even as it maintains the core principles of endurance, longevity and enhanced resource capacity.

Project portfolio management aims to bring project interdependencies to the forefront. The 5 strategies elaborated here will increase the efficiency and productivity levels of your resource pool by keeping them informed of processes and methods that the enterprise seeks to implement. This way, you extract the best out of your resources on all your projects while increasing your profits on billable assignments.

Which of these points have you found personally useful in furthering your business goals for 2018? Let us know in the comments section below!

Aakash Gupta

Aakash Gupta

Resource management subject matter expert at Saviom Software with over 7 years’ experience, Aakash Gupta champions for scientific resource management with publications on best practices and tools. You can reach him through LinkedIn

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