There are lots on help wanted posts around the web.You may be given reams of information and cost effectiveness, but beware all of this advice may be well and good, but the person giving it’s opinion may be incapable of relaying it across a spectrum of people. As on a prince2 practitioner exam online.
Many organisations have completed the “Project Portfolio Management” exercise and turned it into the “Project Portfolio Management Tool”. If this doesn’t make you cringe then you may have been pushed into the market with the crude concept of a tool to manage lots of projects.
In reality, most organisations hold unrealistic expectations about how a tool like this takes care of all the needs for a successful project. As project managers, we need to make the right rules for ourselves in our discipline and understand what the rules are for a client project. If we do then we can be able to communicate and manage with the client. The requirements might be different or you may determine that your own client expects more than your own project management style. If this is the case, then you need to make sure that at the outset you are aware of the differences between the project management style of your client and your own approach.
Once you have gained a client, the right project management technique and approach will be determined by the client and their own project needs. If the client’s requirements are unreasonable then it may be that they are unreasonable to your organization and it is time to re-evaluate over the course of how the project moves forward. If the client has a “need, not a want” attitude you need to be careful that you don’t get distracted by this and start “tooting your own horn”.
The approach that works best for the client and where they are comfortable to put out some sort of request for change is absolutely critical, as this provides good technical foundations for understanding the PA process.
To be able to prove that you have application, you will need proper documentation. Using timelines, quality requirements, technical drawings and other methodologies provided by the client to summarize project progress meet all your needs for meeting the specs/requirements being asked. Of course you will need to answer every question asked. Once you have the documentation, this is not going back to your office or even across the wall to your existing project management. This is a whole new effort with a new client and requires new project management skills and tools.
Ideally, the follow up with this team would be simple; you would make contact upon approval of the project and establish that there will be no major changes. It is easily done as you know the client well and they know you and you are all already on the same page.
This is pure project management despite any time and cost saving benefits that are attainable due to the integration of the PAM tool into the client PM process to support new project management. This is the only way to implement time and cost savings that are gained from the addition of a Project Portfolio Management component.
Project portfolios are not new to PM. Many organisations have already produced project methodologies and also used the PM model as methodology to support a number of projects. Simply using the documentary method of documenting the processes, completed and not completed, to reduce”untried and unproven” methodology is extremely useful. Conversely, a project methodology that attempts to take a one size fits all approach does not work as good for the client. Why?
A client is looking for specific solution that not only increases efficiency and projects cost savings, but also optimizes the deliverable. When working through an approach that attempts to complete projects using a methodology “in the past” that worked for one type of project and not another, much of this has no relationship with the client’s organisation; and it may actually work against the project.
Keep your eyes open to the challenges and the best solution has often been using the methodology and process in place when working with “different” client requirements.