Lean PPM method
Lean PPM method

The Secret Recipe for Project Portfolio Management

5 min read

Dear Reader,

Three-foot-thick walls and heavy-duty vault doors or encrypted data on secure servers – these are the measures companies like Coca Cola take to protect their secret recipes. We have developed a “secret recipe” for functional project portfolio management – a process that allows companies around the world to be successful in putting together their project portfolios and planning their resources.

A few weeks ago, we decided to share this knowledge with the public, and today is the day. You can now find our project portfolio management method on our website – no vault door, no password, no conditions. So it may not be a secret recipe anymore, but it is definitely still a manual for success when it comes to project portfolio management.

To help you get your bearings on our new project portfolio management method pages, this blog post provides you with a quick run-through as well as links to further information. Have fun “cooking” and feel free to let us know what you think!

Your Meisterplan Team

Between the break room and emails, between meetings and orders – a close look at the processes in a business quickly reveals the outlines of a functional PPM system. Often, a lack of structure is the only thing that stands in the way of a project portfolio management and resource planning method that really works. In this blog post, we give you a “run-through” of the Lean PPM Method, a system that you can use to get a handle on your project portfolio management and resource planning. For more information and background knowledge, you can simply visit the linked method pages.

Give structure to your project portfolio management

Which projects should be implemented when, and by whom? The purpose of project portfolio management is ultimately to provide an answer to this seemingly simple question. However, the answer is not obvious; it is the result of a system made up of four areas of activity: Strategize, Collect, Decide, and Execute.

  • Strategize
    A good project portfolio is derived from the strategy of a business. Define evaluation criteria for projects and check your projects regularly on the basis of the criteria.
  • Collect
    The better the process from project proposal to the decision on implementation of the project portfolio, the easier it will be to put together a good project portfolio. So, record initiatives systematically using project summaries (project proposals). Also introduce a quality gate (proposal coaching), in which your portfolio coordinator discusses and refines the project proposals with the initiator.
  • Decide
    A project portfolio requires ongoing decisions as to which projects will be done and which will not. In a pipeline review, the appropriate committee first evaluates the pending initiatives and creates a ranking in preparation for the portfolio board meeting. This is where the Strategize, Collect, and Execute areas of the PPM system flow together, as the top-level PPM decision-making committee monitors the overall progress in the portfolio, resolves conflicts, confirms the composition of the portfolio, and decides on future resource deployment. Prepare the portfolio board meeting thoroughly, always keep your strategy in mind, and still remain flexible.
    Then, communicate the decisions that are made.
  • Execute
    Transparency about the progress and requirements of projects is absolutely essential for functional project portfolio management. There are two management meetings that have proven successful. Discuss operational resource problems in the resource conflict resolution meeting, and escalate any problems that cannot be resolved there to the project steering committee.

Did we go too fast?

No problem, here's a detailed recipe for your project portfolio management.

The discipline par excellence in project portfolio management: resource planning

Prioritization and resource allocation must occur in the context of a project portfolio management process. So resource planning is a kind of “operational breakthrough” of project portfolio management into project management. Within the Lean PPM Method we distinguish between available capacity, project initialization, and tactical resource management.

  • Available capacity
    Employees have limited resources. So every project plan has a limiting framework that has to be kept up-to-date at all times. Maintain the master resource data and your employees’ capacity in a central location. And have your managers map the employees to roles.
  • Project initialization
    Project initialization describes the time until project approval. This phase of a project involves planning the project and “applying” for (role) capacity. Define the objective, scope, time objective, and resource requirements for your projects.
  • Tactical resource management
    Tactical resource management comes into play before and during the project. Assign people to projects, inform employees about their assignment, and provide operational management in the event of changes during an ongoing project.

Looking for more detail?

Read how you can get a handle on your resource planning.

Get started right now with templates for project portfolio management

Had enough of theory about the Lean PPM Method and now you want to get started directly, and you’re looking for a concise summary of the key aspects of project portfolio management? Use the templates and start right away.

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It is all right here!

You can find all downloadable templates on the project portfolio management templates page.

This was a quick run-through of a Lean PPM Method that really works. If you have questions or would like us to help you with your process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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