project portfolio management

Project and Portfolio Management Experts

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

Phone: +1 778 995 4396

E-Mail: jamal@thinktankconsulting.ca

Below you will find ten symptoms of a company that is in dire need of project management and/or project portfolio management. 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 three symptoms present at your company? We can help! We offer project management, project portfolio management consulting and both live or online 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.

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News - FREE “Project Portfolio Management Case Studies - Financial Sector”!

 

Friends and colleagues!

After spending long hours in a small and stuffy studio, I was finally able to post my brand-new workshop on the Thinktank Consulting website. This one is called “Case Studies in Project Portfolio Management: Financial Sector”.

I have created a coupon that allows my LinkedIn friends to listen to this workshop for free (regular price $270). All you need to do is comment something along the lines of “Interested” or “Yes” and I will PM you the link. My only request is that you leave your review on the website. You will be prompted automatically by the website as early as 5-10 min into the course.

Also, please:

1) Share it

2) Like it

3) Tag your friends or managers who may benefit from it

4) Leave a review

Thanks in advance!

Jamal

News - FREE “Project Portfolio Management Case Studies - Telecommunications Sector”!

FREE “Project Portfolio Management Case Studies - Telecommunications Sector”!

 

Friends and colleagues!

 

After spending long hours in a small and stuffy studio, I was finally able to post my brand-new workshop on the Thinktank Consulting website. This one is called “Project Portfolio Management Case Studies - Telecommunications Sector”.

 

I have created a coupon that allows my LinkedIn friends to listen to this workshop for free (regular price $270). All you need to do is comment something along the lines of “Interested” or “Yes” and I will PM you the link. My only request is that you leave your review on the website. You will be prompted automatically by the website as early as 5-10 min into the course.

 

Also, please:

 

1) Share it

2) Like it

3) Tag your friends or managers who may benefit from it

4) Leave a review

 

Thanks in advance!

Jamal

Article - Project Portfolio Management – The Role of the PMO

 

The role of the PMO in the project portfolio management process can be generally divided into two domains: project prioritization and selection as well as project management and monitoring (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

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The first role of the PMO is to act as a filtration mechanism for all the incoming project proposals. It is very important to point out that project management office should not have a mandate to overturn or reject project requests. Its role is to accept the business cases, review them and whenever possible to point out inconsistencies or imperfections in these documents to the project champions.

First, the prerogative of project acceptance or rejection belongs only to the Portfolio Executive Committee consisting of the organization's executives. They and only they have the right to approve, reject, postpone or kill any project in the proposal pipeline.

Second, the role of the PMO is to work with the project champions in order to guide them in writing and "selling" their project proposals. here is an example of a conversation that may take place between the PMO manager and the project champion:

M: John, I looked over your business case for the CRM system replacement and overall it looks very good. My only concern is that you gave it ten out of possible ten points in the "Technical Feasibility" category ...

PC: Yes, and what is the problem?

M: Well this kind of score in this category implies that it would be a fairly simple project that can be done by our internal resources only.

PC: I think we can handle it internally ...

M: We had several other new system implementations projects recently. Remember, the ones for the risk management team and for the HR department. In both cases we had to rely on extensive support from the external consultants provided by the vendors ...I am not insisting on anything, but you will have to go in front of the executive committee and justify these projections.

PC: You are right, let us downgrade the score from ten out of ten to five out of ten.

Article - Project Portfolio Management: How to Maximize the Number of Project Proposals?

 

My recently published article “Why Should You Try to Generate as Many Project Proposals as Possible” has generated a lot of interest here and several of my friends reached out to me on various forums with the following question:

OK, we get that you need to generate as many project proposals as possible. But how do you do that?

One of the first steps to collecting the maximum possible number of proposals is to make the submission process simple. One of the tricks used by some of my clients was to publish the finalized version of the scoring model on the company Intranet that was accessible to all company employees. Another organization went as far as printing the scoring model on large posters and hanging them around their company's office, including the offices of the key decision makers (see Table 1).

Table 1

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Some other valuable strategies for maximizing the number of project proposals include:

  • Allowing your employees to participate in the preliminary ranking processes
  • Rewarding your workers financially for successful ideas
  • Running contests for the best project ideas
  • Inviting your customers, vendors and suppliers to participate in the process
  • Making the proposal submission process as easy and transparent as possible
  • Demonstrating the positive impact on sales
  • Publishing the final approved project list with the scores each proposal has generated (see Table 2).

Table 2

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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.

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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: