Agile Project Portfolio Management can take away a lot of the complexity of older methods (I’m looking at your Waterfall) Project Portfolio Management which often seen as a process ripe with inefficiency, intricate and cumbersome processes to where one must see everything within the project itself from start to finish.
Project managers are forced to deal with many different moving pieces, which not only complicate development but also delay the timeline of actual completion.
Additionally, having the foresight and a sense of trajectory to plan, estimate, and determine the direction your projects are going is undoubtedly difficult. We view the definition of a portfolio as the grouping of work that aligns to the organization’s business strategies and goals. When you add Agile Project Portfolio Management to the mix, you can achieve shorter development cycles and releases, leading to an increased feedback and meaningful improvements.
For example, there will be various parts of the portfolio that are already underway and some that are not, which can add a degree of complexity and difficulty in deciding how projects are prioritized and completed in the most effective manner.
Here are 3 simple rules that can help PMO’s efficiently process and maintain projects if you don’t have a crystal ball to see the future:
#1 Find a way to rank your work
Too many a times we see corporations that prioritize their work in a poor manner. This leads to the inability to effectively determine and articulate project priorities. As a result, the process of formulating a strategy becomes constricted.
With the use of effective project portfolio management tools, your team can work on tasks of the highest priority first. Implementing a type of scorecard can correlate the importance of projects, and align them immediately with business goals and strategies.
#2 Operate on Good Data
In today’s world, having precise and the most up to date data can take you a long way. At the same time, however, maintaining a comprehensive set of meaningful data can be exceedingly difficult. PPM tools allow you to track and retain useful data, helping to make sound decisions for your projects.
#3 Understand there is a new “reality”
Project managers must come to the understanding that, in today’s day and age, everything is moving at a much faster pace due to the advancement of technology. Born out of a necessity to combat constant change, the concept of Agile management allows for quick and adaptable project planning.
Project managers who are working within Agile methodologies are becoming much more productive, resulting in a significant leg-up over those who have failed to adapt.
Within Agile project portfolio management, simplicity is key. Portfolio management cannot be seen as Agile if it violates the principles stated in the Agile Manifesto, which is composed of statements such as:
- The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
its behavior accordingly
- Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done
(As taken from http://agilemanifesto.org/)
The key to successfully combining Agile with your portfolio management strategy is based on the team that your company has. With a team that is cross-functional and adaptable, you are better able to plan ahead and react to change.
These three rules for better Agile Project Portfolio Management enable your firm to create a more simplistic Agile atmosphere, resulting in higher productivity.