Improving Project Portfolio Management by purchasing software is kind of like trying to lose weight by buying an exercise machine. Exercise machines work great when you use them correctly
Getting in shape requires a plan, commitment and execution. You have to look at your habits – what you eat, what activities you undertake, and work with integrity (The Commitment we talked about previously) Sometimes you have to shift your paradigm by changing the foundation of daily habits. Once you’ve wrapped your mind around eating right and increasing exercise, you are ready to use that exercise machine to reach your goal for success.
Similarly, the adoption of any PPM tool can cause more problems than it solves IF the relative questions have not been asked with a commitment to answer honestly.
These questions may be:
- Do we have an achievable plan?
- Have we figured out how to put it into action, our projects or programs that deliver on a strategic goal?
- On our projects or programs, do we know what metrics we need to gather so that the numbers tell the story and allow for good business decisions?
- Equally important, do we know what metrics are the “white elephant” that we either don’t want to gather or just ignore because not acknowledging them does not result in any useful understanding?
- Is everyone, from planners to project admins, on the same page, willing to working toward the same project goals – and opening collaborating and workflow ?Some of the collaboration mentioned can be reports, or other project deliverables or artifacts. But the old adage reporting just for the sake of reporting because a PPM software can– doesn’t always provide value.“PPM Software” management comes before software. With out this element you end up managing the software (or really, letting it manage you) instead of the portfolio of work. Questions that require answers like (“What’s more important to our company?”) cannot be answered by a software tool. You have to wrap your mind around them before you apply a project management software tool.(And, as in dieting, you have to avoid the treats: “I know it’s not in the budget, but this one project is ‘the boss’s pet project… “The Proverbial BROWNIE”!”)