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6 Steps for implementing portfolio management

Portfolio management helps companies achieve strategic goals by centralising and managing multiple projects and programmes. With the help of portfolio management, you can improve the coordination and implementation of strategies, optimise your enterprise’s choice of projects, and also easily track the progress of different projects.

Portfolio management provides your corporate stakeholders – from the project managers to the company executives – with a good overview of the projects and also their statuses. The process of continual reporting ensures that potential risks are taken care of before they become unmanageable.

Read on to know the 6-step implementation guide of portfolio management in your organisation. This has been prepared by Training Creatively who have been providing accredited MoP training courses for years.

  • Step 1 – Define criteria for your projects

Your company may have various change initiatives and not all of them cannot be classified as projects. Some of them can also be managed under operations. Therefore the first step is to identify the projects that are in the pipeline and categorise them appropriately. Based on the objectives of the projects, you can prioritise them accordingly.

The possible criteria under which you can segment your projects are:

  1. Size of the project team
  2. Number of departments involved in the project
  3. Inherent complexities
  4. Staff costs
  5. Quality of risk
  6. Novelty of the project team
  7. External effects
  8. Benefits’ contribution

With the help of the above, you can put the appropriately segmented projects under the portfolio selection process.

  • Step 2 – Define the project initiation process

When selecting the portfolio, you need to define a uniform process that will be followed during the initiation of any project that your company is undertaking. It is best to have a standardised system in place so that the recording of ideas and tasks are easily understood by everyone associated with the project. You need to clearly define the permissions, workflows, and criteria for the approval process.

When you have a uniform process in place, you would not have to keep explaining or giving instructions for every new project that the company works on. Of course, the agreed process will be tailored to the context of each project by its project team.

  • Step 3 – Clearly defined prioritisation method

This is not a one-off activity. When the circumstances change, you have to change your priorities accordingly. To determine the strategic relevance of a project, you can assign business drivers like achieving higher customer satisfaction, increasing product quality, expanding into new markets and achieving higher cost-efficiency.

Also, these drivers have to be complete from a strategic standpoint.

  • Step 4 – Have an overview of the running projects

A crucial step for implementing portfolio management is having a clear idea of how your present projects are running. You need to have all the details including the project manager and team, the costs, team members, the start date, project deadline and so on. This will help you to understand the areas where the company is investing most of its efforts. An analysis will help you in determining the areas that need to be improved in terms of portfolio management and the areas that can be done away with. This will free a lot of time, money and resources for your company to take up new projects or focus on other core competencies.

  • Step 5 – Compare the planning of upcoming projects with the remaining budget

In this step, you have to add your desired projects to the portfolio of projects that are running presently. By doing so, you will get a clear idea of the remaining budget and capacity available that can be allotted to the new projects. Also, this will help you in understanding when you can start the new projects in the pipeline.

  • Step 6 – Constantly track project progress and benefits achievement

The work of portfolio management does not end with just the selection of projects. The final step is to constantly keep track of how the projects and programmes are being handled. This is going to help determine if these change initiatives are running smoothly. In case of delays or risks, you would be able to come up with a resolution without wasting a lot of time and money.

Then, you need to ensure that the business changes are enabled to achieve the operating outcomes that will be used to yield benefits, resulting in the achievement of strategic objectives. So, now that you know the steps to implement portfolio management, you should get appropriate skills and knowledge. Talk to Training Creatively and enrol for our virtual, classroom or online MoP Management of Portfolios programme.