Do you know exactly where you are spending your money and the value you are getting? Many executives are shocked to discover just how many projects and initiatives their organisations are working on and how much it’s costing – let alone whether they are actually needed.
Budgets to deliver new Government services are being squeezed in the recession, and the Government CIO council is tasked with promoting a common approach to portfolio management to help get more value from projects. But many organisations still struggle to do so.
Often, there is too much focus on processes and tools; senior management are not appropriately engaged and quickly lose attention and confidence, and projects can proliferate and develop a life of their own, ceasing to contribute to current strategic objectives.
So what do you need to do to get the most from your portfolio?
1. Use a ‘whole picture view’ to drive priorities
Do you know which combination of initiatives will have the biggest impact on your overall business performance? Typically, organisations assess projects or programmes on an individual basis, not the whole picture. Without this complete intelligence, even the best decision-making process will be flawed.
2. ‘Grown-up’ governance allows effective decision-making
Can you be ruthless in cutting projects that are unlikely to improve business performance? Politics and personal agendas often derail effective decision-making. Make sure your management team has the right information and culture to take the really hard decisions that cut across personal agendas.
3. Use the right people for the job
It is often misunderstood as a process role, but effective portfolio management is really about engaging the stakeholders and being able to influence them to make the right decisions – ensuring you take the ‘whole picture view’ and make decisions based on insightful information.