Project Portfolio Management Quotes

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When applying agile practices at the portfolio level, similar benefits accrue: • Demonstrable results—Every quarter or so products, or at least deployable pieces of products, are developed, implemented, tested, and accepted. Short projects deliver chunks of functionality incrementally. • Customer feedback—Each quarter product managers review results and provide feedback, and executives can view progress in terms of working products. • Better portfolio planning—Portfolio planning is more realistic because it is based on deployed whole or partial products. • Flexibility—Portfolios can be steered toward changing business goals and higher-value projects because changes are easy to incorporate at the end of each quarter. Because projects produce working products, partial value is captured rather than being lost completely as usually happens with serial projects that are terminated early. • Productivity—There is a hidden productivity improvement with agile methods from the work not done. Through constant negotiation, small projects are both eliminated and pared down.
Jim Highsmith (Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition) (Agile Software Development Series))
One executive team I worked with had at one time identified three criteria for deciding what projects to take on. But over time they had become more and more indiscriminate, and eventually the company’s portfolio of projects seemed to share only the criterion that a customer had asked them to do it. As a result, the morale on the team had plummeted, and not simply because team members were overworked and overwhelmed from having taken on too much. It was also because no project ever seemed to justify itself, and there was no greater sense of purpose. Worse, it now became difficult to distinguish themselves in the marketplace because their work, which had previously occupied a unique and profitable niche, had become so general. Only by going through the work of identifying extreme criteria were they able to get rid of the 70 and 80 percents that were draining their time and resources and start focusing on the most interesting work that best distinguished them in the marketplace. Furthermore, this system empowered employees to choose the projects on which they could make their highest contribution; where they had once been at the mercy of what felt like capricious management decisions, they now had a voice. On one occasion I saw the quietest and most junior member of the team push back on the most senior executive. She simply said, “Should we be taking on this account, given the criteria we have?” This had never happened until the criteria were made both selective and explicit. Making our criteria both selective and explicit affords us a systematic tool for discerning what is essential and filtering out the things that are not.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
For managers new to portfolio management, the idea of stopping work, even just for now, is a foreign concept. They are tempted to ask people to multitask instead of stopping work on one or more projects.
Anonymous
Type 1 leadership was about functional requirements and individual systems; the focus was operational. Type 2 was less about managing individual projects and systems, more about managing portfolios of projects and infrastructures, as well as playing a senior team leadership role; Type 2 leaders left the details of managing operational functions and individual systems to others, though they remained accountable for it all working. Type 3 evolved into a job of managing strategy and resources, leaving the details of management of portfolios and infrastructure to others.
Robert D. Austin (Adventures of an IT Leader)
Universities use their endowments to finance a range of activities, from scholarships to building projects. Harvard has promised to use its financial resources to make sure that anyone can afford to attend. Harvard did not give a reason for Ms. Mendillo’s departure. In an interview, Ms. Mendillo, a former chief investment officer of Wellesley College who spent an earlier 15-year period at the Harvard Management Company, said she felt the time was right to move on. “We’ve made a great recovery from the financial crisis, we’ve repositioned the portfolio and we’ve built a great team,” she said.
Anonymous
obvious, rather than rolling up numerous ad hoc spreadsheets, and an effective and broad system for data capture can save time and increase visibility into business performance. Without it, you must be very precise in the data you collect in order to avoid overburdening the organization or hitting material data-quality issues. However, don’t let a broad reporting system allow you to neglect the process of effective reporting. A mass of data is not the same as a report. Even if executives can drill down into real-time portfolio information, that is too ad hoc to be a process for keeping projects on track, and you will still need a structure of reports
Simon Moore (Strategic Project Portfolio Management: Enabling a Productive Organization (Microsoft Executive Leadership Series))
as an organization, you incur capability debt, because people (managers and technical staff) can’t improve their capabilities when they’re overburdened with too much work to do.
Johanna Rothman (Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects)
project starts to go off target the
Simon Moore (Strategic Project Portfolio Management: Enabling a Productive Organization (Microsoft Executive Leadership Series))
Organizations that manage IT delivery as projects instead of products are using managerial principles from two ages ago and cannot expect those approaches to be adequate for succeeding in this one. Visionary organizations are creating and managing their Value Stream Networks and product portfolios in order to leapfrog their competition in the Age of Software
Mik Kersten (Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework)
Interestingly, Agile’s scrum-team approach has its own way of aggregating some execution risk. For example, in a traditional “single task owner” approach, the risk of execution is not aggregated at all, leaving that task owner to add a lot of task-level buffer to self-insure and deliver on his commitment. In contrast, a 5-person scrum team aggregates the risk that any single individual will make slow progress, as the other four team members can often make up the deficit. But why aggregate only up to the scrum-team level? Taking a lesson from the insurance industry, the more that risk can be aggregated, the easier it is to manage. Applied to projects, this will nearly always mean that it’s better to aggregate risk at the project level. As a result, an Agile project can improve speed by avoiding sprint-level commitments.
Michael Hannan (The CIO's Guide to Breakthrough Project Portfolio Performance: Applying the Best of Critical Chain, Agile, and Lean)
There are many potential explanations for the less-than-robust performance, but IBM’s current strategy suggests that one component at least is a challenge to the traditional shrink-wrapped software business. As much as any software provider in the industry, IBM’s software business was optimized and built for a traditional enterprise procurement model. This typically involves lengthy evaluations of software, commonly referred to as “bake-offs,” followed by the delivery of a software asset, which is then installed and integrated by some combination of buyer employees, IBM services staff, or third-party consultants. This model, as discussed previously, has increasingly come under assault from open source software, software offered as a pure service or hosted and managed on public cloud infrastructure, or some combination of the two. Following the multi-billion dollar purchase of Softlayer, acquired to beef up IBM’s cloud portfolio, IBM continued to invest heavily in two major cloud-related software projects: OpenStack and Cloud Foundry. The latter, which is what is commonly referred to as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, may give us both an idea of how IBM’s software group is responding to disruption within the traditional software sales cycle and their level of commitment to it. Specifically, IBM’s implementation of Cloud Foundry, a product called Bluemix, makes a growing portion of IBM’s software portfolio available as a consumable service. Rather than negotiate and purchase software on a standalone basis, then, IBM customers are increasingly able to consume the products in a hosted fashion.
Stephen O’Grady (The Software Paradox: The Rise and Fall of the Commercial Software Market)
The product managers now meet together as a group. They think about what they can accomplish together to meet their group performance. Now,
Johanna Rothman (Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects)
The problem is you are working on projects. Service-level response times interfere with project work and cause multitasking. Maybe someone has to do that work, but maybe not you. Or, if you do have to do it, someone else can rank-order the work, and you can work in short timeboxes so you have a chance of completing the necessary-to-the-organization work without multitasking.
Johanna Rothman (Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects)
The modern general partnership (GP) needs a team of executives who can execute on the following seven core requirements: 1. RAINMAKING: A nose for new deals, and how to find them. 2. DEAL ANALYSIS AND EXECUTION: Ability to value a company and buy it for a sensible price on sensible terms, including arrangement of a sensible level of debt to support the acquisition structure. 3. IMPROVING THE PORTFOLIO COMPANY: Knowing how to help management make their companies great, not just good. 4. SELLING THE PORTFOLIO COMPANY: Recognising when it is time to sell and knowing how to achieve a fair price. 5. MANAGEMENT OF THE GP: Managing project teams, coaching junior staff and leading by example. 6. SERVICING THE INVESTORS: Not only with profits but also timely and accurate information and building strong relationships. 7. FUNDRAISING: Being able to present the case for why investors should entrust you to do a great job with their savings. Building this trust over many years is essential.
Bill Ferris (Inside Private Equity:Thrills, spills and lessons by the author of 'Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained')
Green Projects Consulting provides a variety of services such as project portfolio management trainings, project portfolio management strategy and project portfolio management implementation services. Furthermore we have extensive experience in building value driven PMOs, organizational transformation, change management and advanced project management applying critical chain project management and TOC principles to achieve exceptional growth for our clients.
Green Projects Consulting