The key to maintaining an active project portfolio is to ensure the reporting chain is in place and that all necessary parties are performing their role and associated responsibility.
Portfolio Manager — As we stated at the beginning of this chapter, this role should be designated to one individual. This individual analyzes all of the current and proposed projects to determine and recommend a viable project mix, one that is capable of meeting the goals of the organization. This individual will then specifically monitor the planning and execution of the chosen projects. He or she is the representative of the Governance Board to ensure timely delivery. But he or she has another important objective to achieve. The portfolio manager should constantly analyze portfolio performance and ways to improve it. This person plays an important role in supporting the overall strategy of the organization and preparing information for Governance Board meetings. The portfolio manager also evaluates new opportunities against the current portfolio and comparatively to each other, taking into account the organization's project execution capacity. As a result, this person is regularly providing information and recommendations to decision-makers at all levels.
Project Manager — Typically this person has the responsibility of reporting project progress.
Team Member — This role normally focuses on the work at hand. The team member should be expected to report the status of his work in a regular manner to the project manager. The information reported should reflect work accomplishments, work in progress, work plans for the next period, current issues, any help needed, work acceleration opportunities, and any work delivery threats.
Project Sponsor — The sponsor considers current and future business impact to the project effort. This person must be informed of project progress on a regular basis by the project manager. Sponsor duties should be well understood by all project members. In most environments, sponsor roles are very ill defined.
Governance Board Member — The executive may be the business unit leader or his tactical delegate. This role is to caucus with other mem bers of the Governance Board on the force ranking of all projects listed in the portfolio as those projects best meet the strategic objective and direction of the business at any particular time in the fiscal year. This includes deactivating projects, considering new opportunities, and activating new projects. The executive is responsible for communicating any sudden delivery opportunity or delivery threat as the business climate changes day-today. His value is measured by how well the collection of projects meet their delivery targets and if additional project work can be achieved as a result of exceeding expected delivery targets.
PMO — The primary responsibility of the PMO in reporting the portfolio status is to ensure that the information is communicated in a manner everyone can understand and not misconstrue. Initially, the PMO will need to be sensitive to current projects that are struggling. Remember, it takes time to change behaviors and attitudes that have developed over years of continuous application. Raising the visibility of the portfolio to all key stakeholders may have an unexpected effect. Building relationships with key stakeholders is essential to gaining trust and awareness as the PMO begins to introduce the portfolio process.
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.