Your project portfolio tells a story. It shows you what your project teams are working on and the projects they will tackle in the future. It also tells you where your company invests workers’ capacity and other resources. But your project portfolio is only half of the picture. Your company goals also tell a story. Both short and long-term corporate goals detail where your company is heading and what you want to accomplish. The question is: does your portfolio and corporate goals tell the same story?
Aligning Your Project Portfolio to Goals
You wouldn’t want to work on a project that didn’t help you achieve a corporate goal. The time and resources involved could be much better spent elsewhere. And yet, this happens frequently for many companies because ensuring projects are aligned to goals is actually a pretty difficult task. When you have dozens or hundreds of projects, it’s easy to get buried under budgets, milestones, dependencies and other project details and lose sight of the most important aspect of a project: how it contributes to your goals.
To cut through the project noise, you need a high-level view of your projects. You need a roadmap. With a roadmap, you can visually determine which projects contribute to which goals. You can quickly see if your project portfolio favors certain goals over others or if projects are completely misaligned. Not only does Meisterplan’s Roadmap help you understand how your projects contribute to goals by grouping projects based on the goals they are helping to achieve, but you can also gain valuable insights by grouping projects by other relevant criteria such as Strategy Fit, Payback Period and Stage Gate.
Evaluating Strategy Fit
Strategy Fit is how closely aligned a project is to a goal. Some projects will directly impact the achievement of goals, but others may have a less direct effect. Strategy Fit doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simply assign Strategy Fit to projects as “low,” “medium,” or “high.” When you group projects in your Roadmap by Strategy Fit, you gain an understanding of just how much your projects impact goal achievement. If most of your projects have a low Strategy Fit, it’s a good indication that you need to make changes to your project portfolio and introduce projects that will have a more meaningful impact. While not all projects need to have a high Strategy Fit, it is important for project portfolios to maintain a balance so you can reach your corporate goals.
Looking at Payback Period
Payback period refers to the amount of time it takes for a company to receive the financial benefit or return on investment of a project. Grouping projects in a Roadmap by payback period is extremely useful for understanding achievement toward financial goals. Imagine your company has a goal to double revenue in the next two years. Grouping projects by payback period can help you understand if you are investing in enough projects now to reach that goal. If you don’t have enough projects with a payback period within two years, you’ll know you need to make some changes before it’s too late.
Keep Everything Running with Stage Gate
Using the Stage Gate grouping in your roadmap is valuable for seeing the state of your whole project portfolio, including projects that are in your pipeline. A balanced portfolio needs a steady inflow of new projects and this view makes it easy to spot any imbalance. You may have a mountain of projects waiting for approval or maybe not enough to keep you on track to reaching your goals. You can also identify other stages that are taking up too much time and resources.
Try Our Roadmap for Free
Meisterplan’s Roadmap makes understanding your project portfolio easy with intuitive visuals that empower you to make better business decisions and keep your projects in check. To see our Roadmap in action, you can start a free 30-day trial or schedule a one-on-one demo. For more information about our Roadmap and how you can use it to get better insights into your project portfolio, visit our help center.