project portfolio management

Project and Portfolio Management Experts

Jamal Moustafaev.jpg

Jamal is the author of three books and two online courses dedicated to project, portfolio and scope management:

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Phone: +1 778 995 4396

E-Mail: jamal@thinktankconsulting.ca

Links:

@ThinktankConsul on Twitter Thinktank Consulting on Facebook Thinktank Consulting on Google+ Thinktank Consulting on Linkedin Thinktank Consulting RSS Feed Thinktank Consulting on YouTube sudemylogo.jpg

Before you go any further, let us conduct a quick survey. Below you will find ten symptoms of a company that is in dire need of project management and/or project portfolio management. Go ahead, read through the list and count how many of these characteristics can be attributed to your organization:

  1. Unexpected issues and problems arise in the middle of projects
  2. Communications seem to be ad-hoc; too often important stakeholders are not informed about key decisions
  3. Project's requirements are never clearly defined
  4. Project managers and functional managers (department directors and managers) constantly fight over resources.
  5. Priorities of the projects initiated by the executives constantly change, resulting in quick resource reassignments.
  6. There is a chronic shortage of resources at the organization. Employees are constantly complaining about being overworked, while the managers insist that they must roll up their sleeves and work harder
  7. Projects are frequently late and/or over budget and/or do not deliver the full scope promised and the quality of the project product is low
  8. Even if the strategic idea is implemented, the company sometimes fails to achieve the expected improvement or fails to receive any value from the said project at all
  9. The strategic plan – even if the company has one - is presented as a list of projects, but the cause-effect logic tying those initiatives to the company’s mission, goals and the strategy is absent
  10. The list of company projects is not prioritized. Therefore it is assumed that all of these initiatives must be started and implemented more or less simultaneously

Did you count more than five symptoms present at your company? We can help! We offer project management, project portfolio management consulting and training services to help get your business back on track.

Please contact me directly via email at jamal@thinktankconsulting.ca or by phone +1-778-995-4396.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP

President & CEO

Thinktank Consulting, Inc.

project-portfolio-management-book.jpgProject Management Fundamentals for Professionals.jpgProject-Management-Fundamentals-for-Executives.jpgAdvanced Project Management (1/4): Project Initiation

Article - Why Should You Try to Generate as Many Project Proposals as Possible

 

A great American scientist and a 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Linus Pauling once said, "If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away."

One of the key principles of project portfolio management is to generate as many project proposals as possible in order to improve the portfolio selection. The idea here is that the more proposals one has in front of her, the easier it would be to build a higher quality portfolio of projects. Let us try to illustrate that point with a couple of examples (see Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1 shows the bubble chart diagram of several project proposals imposed on the risk-reward diagram. let us assume that we need to select six projects out of all the proposals in front of us. In this particular example once we eliminate the always unwanted "white elephants", i.e. the low reward and high-risk projects, we have exhausted our choices. In other words, we must add all of the remaining ventures to our portfolio including two "pearls", two bread and butter" and two "oysters".

Figure 1

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Let us compare this situation above with the portfolio shown in Figure 2. Instead of having only eight candidates we now have twenty: four "pearls", five "bread and butter", five "oysters" and six "white elephants".

Figure 2

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After getting rid of all the low reward, high risk projects and an addition of four low-risk, high reward ones, we are now free to mix and match the "oysters" and the bread and butters" to our liking. For example, we may decide to select two highest return and lowest risk projects from the "bread and butter" and "oyster" quadrants respectively.

Comparison of these two charts clearly demonstrates that having more project ideas to start with we were able to select a more attractive portfolio overall.

Infographic - Top 10 Amazing Facts about Megaprojects

 

Fact #8 just blew me away!

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About the Author

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East.  Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

Podcast - Episode 387 - Project Portfolio Management with Jamal Moustafaev

 

Project Portfolio Management

I was recently interviewed by Cornelius Fichtner from The Project Management Podcast about Project Portfolio Management. Here is the interview:

Click here to listen to this interview right now:

Here is what Cornelius writes about the interview:

Project Portfolio Management and the realization that strategic alignment of all projects within an organization is crucial are both gaining ground. And this realization also emphasizes the need for having solid project selection methods.

But how exactly do you do all of this? The number of books that focus on practical advice for implementing a strategic project portfolio management process is quite small. Lucky for us that a new one with exactly that focus has just been published.

The new book is titled Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World (Best Practices and Advances in Program Management) written by Jamal Moustafaev (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev. In our discussion, we answer these questions:

  • What is project portfolio management?
  • What are the three pillars of strategic PPM?
  • What are some project selection models that support a company's strategy?
  • How do we achieve strategic alignment?

About The PM Podcast: Launched in 2005, The Project Management Podcast is hosted by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM who helps you with your PMP Training in his “real” job. The podcast wants to bring project management to beginners and experts and has done so by publishing hundreds of interviews with project managers from around the world. They are free on http://www.project-management-podcast.com/free.

Infographic - Aggregate Project Portfolio Management Statistics Across Multiple Industries

 

This is the final installment of my Project Portfolio Management infographics describing PPM models in various industries. This particular post presents aggregate statistics from a variety of industries: energy, logistics, financial, government, pharma, product development, professional services and telecom.

For more information please see my book  “Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World” that has just been released by Auerbach Publications.

Infographic - Aggregate PPM.png

About the Author

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East.  Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

Infographic - Project Portfolio Management in the Professional Services Industry

 

I have got some exciting news recently! My third book “Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World” has just been released by Auerbach Publications.

So, to commemorate this event, I will be publishing a series of infographics dedicated to project portfolio management models in various sectors. Todays industry is Professional Services.

Infographic-Professional-Services-PPM_0.png

About the Author

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East.  Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

Article - Mystery Explained - Why Do We Resist Killing Bad Projects?

 

Introduction

Have you ever been involved in a project that was in a bad shape? By “bad shape” I mean the following two scenarios:

Have you ever asked yourself a question:

“Why the heck is the management continuing to support this ignominy?”

These projects have been called “runaway trains” and “black swans”. They destroy reputations and companies. So, why is it so difficult to kill them? And yes, I do understand such concepts as sense of attachment, pride and egotism. But if you are a rational, intelligent individual, don’t you have to realize what exactly is at stake (i.e. your company, your shareholders and their money)?

The Kahneman Phenomenon

Enter Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. In his article titled “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk” he and his co-author Amos Tversky described the following exercise, that I encourage you to do as well as I describe it.

Imagine that I offer you the following two gambles:

Gamble A: A 100% chance of losing $3,000 (i.e. you have $4,000 in your pocket, I threaten you with a gun and walk away with three thousand of your hard-earned money)

Gamble B: An 80% chance of losing $4,000, and a 20% chance of losing nothing (i.e. we throw some kind of dice and there is a 20% that I would leave you alone with your money).

Don’t try to use any statistical or other techniques to answer this question; just go with your gut feel. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer to this question. Which one of these choices would you pick?

Now, let us try a very similar exercise, but instead of robbing you, I am giving you money this time.

Gamble C: A 100% chance of receiving $3000 (i.e. I just give you three thousand dollars)

Infographic - Project Portfolio Management in the Telecommunications Industry

 

I have got some exciting news recently! My third book “Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World” has just been released by Auerbach Publications.

So, to commemorate this event, I will be publishing a series of infographics dedicated to project portfolio management models in various sectors. Todays industry is Telecommunications.

Infographic-Telecom-PPM.png

About the Author

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East.  Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

Infographic - Project Portfolio Management in the Product Development Industry

 

I have got some exciting news today! My third book “Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World” has just been released by Auerbach Publications.

So, to commemorate this event, I will be publishing a series of infographics dedicated to project portfolio management models in various sectors. Todays industry is Product Development.

Infographic-Product-Development-PPM.png

About the Author

Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP – president and founder of Thinktank Consulting is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker in the areas of project/portfolio management, scope definition, process improvement and corporate training. Jamal Moustafaev has done work for private-sector companies and government organizations in Canada, US, Asia, Europe and Middle East.  Read Jamal’s Blog @ www.thinktankconsulting.ca

Jamal is an author of three very popular books: 

Article - The Ultimate Matrix for Troubled Projects Recovery

 

Introduction

In recent years I have been spending a good portion of my consulting time on rescuing troubled projects around the world. Very often I would receive an e-mail stating something to the effect of:

Hi Jamal,

Our company is currently experiencing certain issues with our (typically flagship) Project X and we would like to hear your opinion on how to remedy the situation. Would you be able to fly here for a project audit?

As a result of this, after having been exposed to a multitude of various troubled initiatives, I decided to attempt to systemize different types of problematic projects and potential approaches to their rescue (see Table 1). Please also note that I am trying to combine both the project portfolio management (i.e. value) and project management (i.e. on-time, on-budget, etc.) aspects of project success.

Table 1

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