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Enterprise Project Governance: Project Portfolio Management: Achieving the Right Combination of the Right Projects

SERIES ARTICLE

How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization

By Paul Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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An organization can be seen as a portfolio of projects. Although most organizations possess a major component of operational “business as usual” activities, the growing number of project initiatives demands major time from top executives and managers.  So the view of a company as a “portfolio of projects” makes perfect sense for achieving the goals set by an organization. That’s how organizations keep up with the demands heaped upon them by racing evolution and pile-driving external pressures — by dreaming up and putting into practice projects that meet the needs of company strategy and the cravings of the marketplace.  New projects are the key to staying ahead of the survival curve and ensuring growth and prosperity.

The aggregate results of an organization‘s projects is what constitutes a substantial part of a company’s bottom line. Missions, objectives, strategies and goals are transformed into company-wide programs that translate corporate intentions into actions. Those programs are in turn broken down into projects. Corporate results are then viewed from an aggregate project perspective as opposed to the conventional department template.

Two Views: Strategy Alignment versus Execution

Effective project portfolios naturally mirror the company´s strategic direction.  Good strategy is the bedrock of successful project portfolio management. Subsequently part of portfolio management consists of ensuring that projects remain aligned with the organization´s strategy. Portfolio management, therefore, includes the responsibility for questioning the timeliness of project strategies, and for articulating necessary adjustments.

The other side of managing project portfolios encompasses seeing that projects are implemented in accordance with the priorities, quality, cost, and timelines. For projects to yield the benefit proposed, they have to be executed effectively and efficiently.  In all scenarios, it´s the job of portfolio management to correct situations when things aren´t going right, The solutions range from aborting a project that strays drastically off course, to implementing a recovery approach for a lagging initiative.. Project portfolio management includes looking at competing investment opportunities and prioritizing those that promise the greatest impact on strategic objectives.

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This series includes articles by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, authors of the book Enterprise Project Governance, published by AMACOM in the USA in 2012.  The articles are extracts and summaries of key topics from their book, providing information and guidance on one of the most important aspects of portfolio, program and project management today – governance.  For information about the book, go to http://www.amacombooks.org/book.cfm?isbn=9780814417461

About the Authors

usa-brazilpaul-dinsmorePaul C. Dinsmore

Paul Dinsmore is President of Dinsmore Associates, and a highly respected specialist in project management and organizational change. A certified project management professional (PMP), he has received the Distinguished Contribution Award and Fellow Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®). He regularly consults and speaks in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.  Paul is the author and / or editor of numerous articles and 18 books, including the AMA Handbook of Project Management. Mr. Dinsmore resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

luiz-rochaflag-brazilLuiz Rocha

Luiz Rocha has 35+ years of experience in the industry and business consulting. Luiz worked with Andersen Consulting and Delloite in the USA and Europe when he had the opportunity to manage multi-cultural and geographically dispersed projects in Latin America, North America and Europe. In Brazil he worked with Dinsmore Associates and Petrobras. Luiz is an engineer by background, MSc. in industrial engineering from UFRJ – Brazil, PMP-PMI and IPMA certifications. He is also a published author with two previous books, Business Metamorphosis, in Brazil, and Mount Athos, a Journey of Self-Discovery, in the USA. Luiz can be contacted at [email protected].