Project Portfolio Management

by Santoshi Para

Having skills to manage multiple projects is not advantage anymore. Managing multiple projects or a portfolio of projects has become the new norm for project managers across the world. In this fast paced world where often companies invest millions of dollars on projects it is important that project managers have all the tools and templates needed for multiple or portfolio of projects. 

Maintaining Portfolio Project Plans

  • Always have a project plan no matter how small or big.
  • You can maintain individual plans or a master project plan which contains all the individual plans.
  • Have a fixed time every week when you will review and update these plans. It is best to block sometime out from your schedule.
  • Closely track and monitor delayed tasks across projects. Using Traffic Lights in Excel or MS Project is a good practice.
  • Using a multiple project timeline can provide a view of multiple projects.

    Task Management Across Your Portfolio Of Projects

    • Track critical tasks across projects to ensure project do not get delayed.
    • While all the project plans have a tasks listed it is also a good idea to have a note of critical tasks and follow up on that.
    • Have a clear WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) for each of the projects.
    • Highlight task dependencies among other projects.
    • Verify the estimates for tasks with SME.

    Conduct Regular Status Or Stand-up Meetings

    • Having a daily meeting to track progress is essential.
    • As a PM it is better to know if a task is at risk rather than knowing it is already delayed.
    • People often tell the actual status when they are asked.
    • It is easy to find out common issues.
    • Acts like checkpoint for PMs to keep track of multiple projects in your potfolio.

      Status Reporting For Your Portfolio Of Projects

      • Reporting for multiple projects can be time consuming so you can use a multiple project dashboard or a portfolio dashboard.
      • It is important that you share the status reports with your teams so that they know what management is being told.
      • Using dashboards to convey status of multiple projects is an effective approach. Both MS Excel dashboards and PPT dashboards are free to download.
      • Also, try our portfolio dashboard in excel and powerpoint.
      • Multiple Project Status Report can be generated using Excel and MS Project Reports.

        Managing Resources Across Multiple Projects

        • It is important that you maintain a resource pool so that you can have a track of who is doing what.
        • Having a clear of view resource utilization across projects is key as it can help you in making decisions about if you can shuffle resources between projects.
        • You should definitely consider have a resource plan for multiple projects.

          Project Portfolio Management

          Connect With Your Onshore / Offshore Teams

          • Managing multiple projects team can be challenging if you don't know your team well.
          • Make sure you meet with the team regularly. Remember they are are human after all.
          • Ensure you appreciate small wins that the team achieve.

            Portfolio Planning And Tracking

            • Project Pipeline tracking - managing incoming projects is essential. project pipeline tracker template captures important attributes of projects.
            • Multiple Project Tracking - once projects are in motion it is key to track multiple projects. This template provide a clear view of different projects in the portfolio in phase by phase view.
            • Using a multiple project timeline can provide a view of multiple projects.

              Managing Your Own Time

              • As a PM running multiple projects it is important you manage your own time.
              • You can have some simple strategies like blocking your time out for 2 hours everyday for one project.
              • You can use To Do Lists designed for Project Managers to keep your tasks updated.

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