The purpose of Enterprise project portfolio management (Enterprise PPM) is to help project organizations maximize the value of their portfolios. Enterprise PPM processes allow PMOs to plan and deliver projects, optimize the allocation of key resources, and align their project portfolios with the strategic goals of the business.
But Enterprise PPM is not that easy to implement successfully. Let’s explore some of the most common EPPM mistakes — and how to avoid them.
Enterprise PPM Mistake #1: Lack of Visibility
Many companies fail to bring their Enterprise PPM process to fruition because of visibility issues. When project and portfolio managers are unable to access reliable and up-to-date information, they may either make decisions based on inaccurate data or waste precious time trying to connect the dots. In any case, they won’t be able to reap the full benefits of PPM.
The easiest way to ensure visibility and transparency is to adopt a state-of-the-art Enterprise PPM solution. Such platforms, which provide real-time visibility into project status and progress, help project leaders and project managers track and report on project performance.
Enterprise PPM Mistake #2: Communication and Collaboration Issues
It is critical for any organization to make sure that its project teams are aligned and follow a common process. It’s all too common to see project managers and project team members dance to the beat of their own drums: each individual will use tools and methods of their choosing, resulting in a patchworked PPM process with no consistency and no comparability across initiatives and teams.
To avoid that, PMOs should establish and publicize an Enterprise PPM charter outlining how projects will be run and how the information will be shared with stakeholders. Here again, the support of professional tools with communication and collaboration features (shared interfaces, notification systems, discussion features, etc.) will prove invaluable.
Enterprise PPM Mistake #3: Resource Imbalance
Resource allocation is probably one of the most challenging aspects of Enterprise PPM. Without an ironclad system to balance resource availability with project demands, organizations often end up over- or under-allocating resources, with potentially severe consequences. Overallocation of resources will put too much strain on workers, eventually disengaging them, and may also lead to resource shortages in other projects. Conversely, underallocating key resources has an obvious impact on productivity and profitability.
Optimizing the allocation and utilization of resources can be achieved by developing a robust resource management plan backed by a software system with smart analytics features.
Enterprise PPM Mistake #4: Poor Prioritization and Strategic Alignment
Failure to prioritize projects is another of the most common Enterprise PPM mistakes. A limited pool of resources can only take so many projects — but some organizations have a hard time figuring out that they just cannot do everything! Insufficient prioritization can cause such issues as reduced performance, resource bottlenecks, and missed deadlines. The initiatives that should take priority are the ones that create the most value against strategic objectives.
To improve the prioritization of strategy-aligned projects, PMOs need to come up with a project ranking process tailored to the needs of their business. It goes without saying that software features can significantly help project managers evaluate each project against a set of weighted strategic criteria.
All of the typical Enterprise PPM mistakes we’ve covered can be avoided thanks to the establishment of well-thought-out guidelines and the adoption of a powerful Enterprise PPM tool. Word to the wise: some software vendors also offer their clients support and guidance to help them optimize their Enterprise PPM process!