Dealing with Uncertainty and Change in the Active Portfolio

Think about digital photography for a moment. There are two types. One is the still shot, a photograph of something taken at a specific point in time. The other is the video, a continual photograph taken over a span of time.

What does this have to do with PPM? Diagnostic and reporting tools essentially take snapshots. They provide a view of projects and portfolios at a single point in time. Yet projects and portfolios are not stagnant. They are dynamic and ever changing. In a perfect world, we would toss out our still camera and replace it with a video camera. But this is not practical.

What we can do is to recognize the dynamics and be prepared to deal with change and uncertainty. Uncertainty is a by-product of change and exists in every project. We make plans and generate estimates, then make decisions based on these plans and estimates.

If you look at an active portfolio, it consists of projects that were selected based on data that was available before the projects were activated. Once the project is initiated, the uncertainties start to move us in directions that were not planned. Periodically, we have to ask, "Would we have made the same decision on the basis of the data that we have now?"

So the first few things to acknowledge are these:

• The projects selected will have risk and uncertainty.

• This risk and uncertainty will result in change, either unplanned or corrective.

• The changes (including performance issues) may negate the basis for the original selection decision.

• Our picture is changing. Are we satisfied with the direction that it is taking us?

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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