Portfolio Management and Troubled Projects

SAP has had a lot of success using project portfolio management — especially via regular monitoring and controlling of the project inventory — to reduce the number of troubled projects and their impact on margin.  Michael Krigsman’s IT project failures blog has a useful post summarizing some of the main challenges.

Michael’s comment is spot-on…my bad.  Thank God for “edit…” 

His interview w/ CA is tool process-centric, and of course an SAPling won’t downplay the value of PPM tools!  In fact, we’ve found that putting a basic process foundation in place — regardless of tool support — to be very effective.  The very act of systematically monitoring the project portfolio surfaces potential project failures more quickly, reduces the probability of failure, lowers the impact if failure(s) happen, and shortens the duration of the adverse events. 

SAP PMOs that operationalized PPM — even with first-generation tools — have had fewer, shorter, and lower impact escalations than those that don’t.  PMOs that wait for the “perfect” approach always seem to get blindsided.

4 Responses

  1. Actually, I tried to make the post not tool-centric. Where did you find it to be overly focused on tools? Thanks!

    Michael Krigsman
    ZDNet Blog: http://blogs.zdnet.com
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/mkrigsman

  2. Probably should have said process-centric, not tools.
    Not really a criticism, the PPM process is the foundation. Just putting a framework into place has substantive results.

    I’ll fix the post…

  3. Didn’t take it as a criticism – just wondering. I’m planing to write more about PPM and evaluating risks in a project portfolio, so was looking for feedback.

    Have a nice holiday!

  4. Sloppy word choice, however… a product of breaking my blog cherry and of my 3 year-old with his fire truck DVD!

    Great topics — in fact, I’ll blog some on those topics. Some on our process; more importantly, some on the temperament and competency issues that drive troubled projects.

    Portfolio management skills and competencies — i.e., business skills and comeptencies — are becoming differentiators in our PM community.

    Hope you enjoy the holidays as well!

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