A company must constantly renew itself by implementing projects that allow it to remain competitive in the market. Deciding which projects to support within the annual budget cycle is a real challenge.
What is the added value of a PMO in managing a project portfolio?
Le PMO facilitates these decisions by implementing:
- An agreed process for portfolio reviews,
- Standardised templates to capture the essence of the projects: sponsor, project summary, cost, target date, priorities, effort in man-days, tangible and intangible return on investment, impact in case of non-implementation, impacted countries, etc.,
- A platform for collecting information on projects prior to their initialisation (e.g. on SharePoint with customised forms),
- A process for validating the data entered,
- Aggregation of information for the company's decision-makers.
The PMO guarantees the adequacy of the budget/project portfolio. It supports management in its decision-making.
Some examples of questions to define the projects to be launched or continued:
- Which of the previous year's projects should be continued?
- Which projects from the previous year should be abandoned (lack of ROI, market evolution, failed project, etc.)?
- Are there any regulations to be implemented? If so, it is a mandatory project.
- Does the project align with one of managements' strategic axes?
- Are there any "quick win" projects?
- On the human resources side: are the skills required for the project available internally or externally?
- Selecting what seems to be the best methodology will not be useful if the person responsible already has in mind the projects that will be pursued. A selection process should therefore be developed in close cooperation with the company's management to ensure that projects are aligned with the company's strategy,
- Not making a decision can also be costly,
- Reducing the planned budget of all projects by a certain percentage to fall below the overall budget penalises sponsors/project managers who have correctly estimated their budget without artificially inflating it. It is more difficult to decide on a case-by-case basis, but in the end the result is fairer.
A good PMO is essential for the proper functioning of project portfolio management and in deciding which projects to support in the annual budget cycle. Its cross-functional role allows it to establish selection approaches and to make an assessment of projects that will not add value and to abandon them in favour of other projects that are more profitable for the company.
Thanks to Gérald Mengisen for this article.