We are now a few weeks into 2016, so it is a great time to review our professional resolutions. You can ask yourself: Am I on track to accomplish my resolutions? Do I have a plan? Am I using the right tools?
Let’s take a look at 3 of the most common PPM resolutions for 2016, and discuss how you can realistically achieve them.
Resolution #1: Bring agile to my portfolio management
Agile portfolio management is not only for software development or IT anymore. Companies from all industries are recognizing the benefits that agile methods offer. If this is one of your resolutions for 2016, then you are probably already familiar with what agile means. For those who are not as familiar, in a nutshell, agile portfolio management is a method that focuses on delivering quality products and services through flexibility, continuous improvement, team communication and input. For example, using the traditional portfolio management method typically means managing bigger projects with many steps, each of which must be completed before the next step begins.
In an agile portfolio, those steps are often broken down into mini projects, which different team members work on simultaneously, resulting in projects that are completed more quickly and efficiently. Also in a traditional portfolio, budget is set at the beginning, tying specific team members to specific projects for the long haul. This may make it difficult to reassign resources to a different project when the need arises. Due to smaller and shorter projects using the agile portfolio management method, resources are freed up more quickly and can be easily reallocated to another project in the portfolio. Whether you make agile a goal in 2016 or prefer to stick with the traditional method, the right PPM tool helps you to accomplish your goals. Using a lean PPM software, like Meisterplan, makes it easy to:
assign the right resources to the right projects
make frequent, small adjustments to your portfolio
share information among team members and departments (Resolution #2)
align projects to strategy (Resolution #3)
ensure that you have the correct and pertinent data for reports and analysis.
Resolution #2: Better team collaboration and communication
When your team communicates and collaborates well, you will spend less time resolving problems and are much more likely to efficiently deliver products and services. What makes a focus on team communication even more important is that more and more companies have team members who work remotely. In August 2015, Gallup reported that telecommuting for work climbed to 37% in the US, and that number is only expected to rise in 2016. A remote team comes with its benefits (a wider talent pool, flexible work schedules, better work-life balance, etc.) and its challenges (more difficult to maintain open communication, time management, differing work schedules, etc.). By using the right tools, you can avoid or lessen some of these challenges. When you use Meisterplan, you can clearly see how roles and resources from multiple departments are affected by changes to your portfolio. This helps sync information across projects and departments and avoid bottlenecks ensuring that all departments can run smoothly.
Resolution #3: Ensure projects are aligned with strategy
Every successful company knows what their main strategy is. What becomes more difficult is ensuring that all of your projects are aligned to strategy. A project may seem important, but when you take a step back and examine, you may realize that the project is not truly in line with strategy. Undertaking projects that are not aligned to the company’s strategy can result in a huge loss through wasted project spending, especially if those projects are cancelled prior to completion. That is where the right PPM tool becomes critical to your business. Meisterplan allows you to input your company strategies, and then you can easily match each project to the corresponding strategy. In Scenario Mode, you can identify the effect of adding a project and determine if it is aligned to the strategy well before the project has begun. This eliminates the necessity of cancelling a project and losing all of the money that has already been put into it.