What is Lean PPM™?
Lean PPM™ is a framework or playbook that makes portfolio management easy. You can map the Lean PPM™ framework to what your organization is already doing and then fill in the blanks to ensure your organization has a complete portfolio management process ready to go as quickly as possible. Included in the Lean PPM™ framework are all the roles, tools and meetings your organization needs to manage your portfolio successfully.
Meisterplan is a cloud software designed to support Lean PPM™. By using Meisterplan and Lean PPM™ together, you get a visual roadmap that allows you to optimize the amount of work you can accomplish with your current teams and resources. You can also determine how many more resources or employees are needed to accomplish additional work . The Lean PPM™ framework is perfect for those responsible for building and developing a Project Management Office (PMO).
Managing Multiple Projects Doesn’t Have to Be So Difficult
The purpose of project portfolio management is ultimately to provide a clear answer to the question “Who should implement which projects, when?”. The Lean PPM™ framework uses a system that is divided into four areas of activity.
We call these areas Strategize, Collect, Decide, and Execute. The activities within these areas run at the same time and are ongoing.
Translating Your Business Strategy
Senior Management determines the business strategy for the organization. A good project portfolio should be aligned to corporate strategy. In this step of the Lean PPM™ framework, that strategy is translated into criteria that allows for prioritization of projects that contribute the most to that strategy.
All projects, even projects already in progress should be evaluated and prioritized based on the decided criteria. Meisterplan supports the Lean PPM™ framework in this part of the process with the following functionality:
Customize fields to match your project evaluation criteria
Rate each project based on that criteria
Sort your project list by priority
Collecting Project Proposals
In the Collect step of the Lean PPM™ framework, new projects are proposed and project initiatives are developed. Initiatives should be prepared systematically, so that they can easily be compared and evaluated against other initiatives. Project proposals are created for each initiative including a description, and estimates of the benefit and effort required.
The Collect step also includes proposal coaching where the portfolio coordinator and the project initiator talk through the idea, improve the initiative and determine if the project should move to the next step of the process. Often organizations have different committees who review and decide on different types of projects, so the portfolio coordinator will also steer the initiative to the right committee.
Deciding Which Projects Will Be Implemented, and When
There are three major things that happen during the Decide Step of the Lean PPM™ framework:
Pipeline review: Quality review and ranking of the initiatives
Portfolio board: Decides what projects to include in the portfolio and the respective budgets
Communication of the results
The Strategize, Collect, and Execute steps of the PPM system come together in the portfolio board meeting. This is the highest-level decision-making committee for PPM. The portfolio board monitors overall progress in the portfolio, resolves conflicts, confirms the composition of the portfolio, and decides on future resource deployment. The decisions almost always also have a direct impact on all projects both current and proposed.
Meisterplan offers a lot of support within the tool during this step. The status of all projects in the portfolio can be updated in Meisterplan to ensure transparency. The portfolio coordinator can use the scenario planning feature in the tool to create one or more proposed solutions for the future portfolio, which can then be presented during the portfolio board meeting. Also during the portfolio board meeting, the portfolio coordinator can immediately illustrate the impact of adjustments to the proposed solution directly in Meisterplan. The portfolio board decision connecting the right resources to the right initiatives, which is the key management activity when moving from strategy to implementation, can then be applied as the permanent plan of record in Meisterplan
Managing Approved Projects
The Execute step in the Lean PPM™ framework is where project management happens. Your project teams are hard at work executing their projects. Lean project portfolio management™ works independent of the chosen PM method. Within a business or department, teams might carry out their projects in completely different ways using different tools. Employees know how to maximize their work efficiency, so you can let your teams work the way they work best. Transparency about project progress and requirements is essential to portfolio management and making the right decisions company-wide. Multi-project coordination that occurs during this step includes:
- Recording project status and resource requirements
- Resolving resource conflicts
- Operational project management
Staffing conflicts are usually resolved by resource managers and team leaders in a resource conflict resolution meeting. Conflicts that cannot be resolved are escalated to the execution steering committee, who monitor the content-related progress of the projects, approve re-budgeting measures within specified limits, and decide on project completion or discontinuation. Only issues that cannot be answered within this process are escalated to the portfolio board meeting.
Meisterplan Is Your Lean PPM™ Solution
Get Everything You Need
Interactive company-wide resource planning
Flexible resource management at the role and employee level
Management of available capacity by department, role and skill
Real-time scenario simulation
Continue working with your existing project management tools and methods
Replace your Excel-based portfolio planning
Why Customers Trust Meisterplan for Their Portfolio Management
“Meisterplan offers us so much more than just a tool. We benefit a lot from the Lean PPM™ framework and the best practices we can implement for our needs. Give it a try!”
Dennis Riedel, PMO (Central Unit Sales & Services) at TRUMPF
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OK, what’s next? Let’s head over to the Project Portfolio Management Software page to learn more about Meisterplan.