Integrated Portfolio Management as a Way to Success

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For Years PMI has been developing standards for Project Management, Program ManagementPortfolio Management, Organizational Project Management Maturity Models, etc. In 2006 PMI launched two standards: Project Portfolio Management and Program Management. Each of those standards was created to be self-contained.

The integrated approach expands these concepts and invents ways to combine them to provide a further level of effectiveness and control. And though the link between all these standards is implicated, there is no clear definition of how to integrate one framework for all of them.

Basically, this is the next step toward the business need and project managers’ ability to grow their influence, vision, and portfolio visibility to guide the strategic decision-making.

The integrated portfolio management approach is here to ensure effective interaction within the PPM framework from business to operations. Also, this concept can be used to reduce the need to keep running your business as a vastly large, often monolithic, frequently uncontrollable, project.

The integrated approach builds on a technique to optimize the use of resources and cash flow while ensuring effective governance and benefits management in a project-based organization.

Standards and Goals

The initial motivation for creating such a framework is the need to integrate and align program and portfolio management, and to build a sort of “synergy” between them. An integrated approach can help incorporate all organizational project management efforts to make the whole “landscape map” consistent.

Also, enabling an integrated portfolio approach brings visibility that in turn streamlines reporting and decision-making.

The structure of a Portfolio can be seen as a set of assets (projects, programs, and other work) at a given point in time, grouped to facilitate the effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives. Most importantly, portfolio management is a strategic activity.

Thus, aligning two main groups of processes – The Aligning Process Group, and The Monitoring and Control Process Group is the key to reaching success.

The Aligning process group comprises the following seven processes are applied to the portfolio components:

  1. Component Identification
  2. Characterization
  3. Evaluation
  4. Selection
  5. Prioritization
  6. Portfolio Balancing
  7. Authorization

The Monitoring and Controlling of the portfolio comprise two processes:

  1. Reporting and review of the current state
  2. Status Assessment of the status of the portfolio in regard to the corresponding strategy.

The Project, Portfolio, and Program Management

Imagine, that not all your projects and programs can be grouped into a single (or several) consistent portfolios. The portfolio management standard does address project and program management, since projects and programs can be components of portfolios.

However, project management and program management standards do not explain how management can take advantage of the capabilities of portfolio management because:

  • a project is a short-term activity
  • a program is a collection of project activities as a portfolio, but with different intent
  • a program has a strategic intent, but is usually less long-term and less intricate than a portfolio
  • the program architecture identifies the program components
  • program components need to be delivered in such a way as to achieve the strategic intent optimally.

As you can see, this set of characteristics does not match those addressed by portfolio management fully. That’s when an integrated approach fixes the hardships of creating a cohesive framework, that allows for both “The Aligning” and “The Monitoring and Control” for all your projects, programs, and portfolios using the same set of rules. Such a framework creates an operational link between projects, programs, and portfolio management.

An additional advantage of this integration is the potential it offers for consolidating the life cycles and the risk management flow through and between projects, programs, and portfolios.

Integrated Portfolio Management: Tools for Success

You can try to create such a framework “manually,” or you can use a specific set of tools to achieve coherence.

Luckily, the modern PPM market has something special in store for those who want to ease the pain of PMs, PMOs, and executives while building such a framework. One of the miraculous solutions that address all the issues listed above and checks every box is PPM Express. Not only does it allow you to create a single “cause-and-effect relationship” between all your project activities, and it can handle multiple project management, reporting, and scheduling tools at once.

PPM Express extracts data from all the tools your teams used to manage and report progress on projects starting from multiple Microsoft tools (like Azure DevOps, Planner, VSTS, Project Online, etc.) to numerous third-party apps, like Trello, Asana, Jira, etc.

This allows PMOs and executives to see the progress on every project\program\portfolio in one dashboard. At the same time, it gives your PMs and teams to work with the tools they used and to report in one place.

Imagine, one of your teams works with Jira, another team has already adopted Trello, and they continue to use the chosen tools daily, while you get all “the stats” in real-time in one place.

Also, you can manage the data from one place, and share the data on all the projects\programs\portfolios with other decision-makers instantly. This streamlines all the executive functions while leaving the teams “to work in peace”.

Integrated Portfolio Management as a Way to Success
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