Do we need a formal Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution?

One common discussion amongst all enterprises not having a formal Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution is always that “do we really need it?” and trust me it’s a great discussion to have. I call it a great discussion because it shows the enterprise’s ability to ask basic questions against objectivity of something which requires investment both in form of finances and efforts. Any decision coming out of such rational thought process and discussions is always going to be in benefit of the organization. And when I say any decision literally it can be:

  1. Let’s go for a formal PPM solution or
  2. No, we do not need it at this point of time

Now the next question comes the moment I say it’s right on the enterprises part to decide that they do not need an PPM solution, is that “what qualifies it as a right decision?”

The only thing which qualifies it as a right decision is the ability of an enterprise to decide not to go for a formal PPM tool at that point of time and the fact that the decision which is part of a rational thought process and adequate consultations.

The decision of not going for a PPM tool at a point of time can be the result of two basic reasons:

The enterprise doesn’t have an enough big portfolio of projects and programs which requires a formal solution to decide on which ones to do and then do those right

Or

The readiness of an enterprise to go for a formal PPM solution. Here is readiness is in form of people, process, culture, adaptability etc.

In most cases the later out of above two will be the reason behind not going for the solution. Any PPM solution implementation is a cultural and operative shift in the way organizations select and execute projects and it injects great amount of accountability on individuals performing various roles as part of project portfolio management, it is understandable that the decision requires 360 degree thinking on deciding whether on to go or not to go. Of course, all of this is for adding much more value to organization’s project portfolio. So, in summary the decision which is coming out is ideally is not that we do not need and PPM solution but more of enterprise’s ability to go for it a point of time.

There are enterprise systems which require lot of perfection in terms of people, process and cultural readiness before you decide to go for them and there are systems which itself help you to prepare culturally, mature your processes and help you manage the organization changes effectively and PPM falls into the same category. For example, helping you with the decisions like below itself is the objective of implementing PPM solutions:

  • Whether to go for a system at point of time?
  • What value it brings on the table?
  • Where does it stand in comparison to other initiatives proposed?
  • Are we people and finance ready?
  • Is it strategically aligned to organization’s long term strategic goals?

And finally, the big task of, once decided to go for then help you implement it the right way successfully. All above are nothing but the things with which PPM solutions help you to.

 

Hence:

 

  • Let the cultural readiness, people and processes get matured over the time along with PPM implementation and let those not become the reason behind not going for it
  • PPM itself becomes your driver towards becoming more adaptable, mature processes and have an objective and merit based criteria to all the initiatives you undertake
  • Based on your state choose the right size and keep growing and maturing

 

PPM implementations take time to achieve maturity curve and the starting point to the curve is when you start using one. Hence waiting for the perfect time is not going to help you to prepare but is just shifting the starting point of your maturing curve. The early you go, early you start seeing benefits. Go for it, but yes go for the right size and sample which helps you to grow over period.

I will discuss the topic of the right size and sample in one of my upcoming publications.