In this issue:
3 Quick Project Portfolio Tips
The second edition of Manage Your Project Portfolio is available now, in ebook and paper. I’m so excited. To celebrate, here are three tips to help you manage your project portfolio.
Tip 1. Make your work visible.
When I lead workshops to help people understand how to manage their project portfolios, we spend some time gathering all their work. They have project work, which they mostly know about.
Then, they realize they have other work: emergencies, periodic work, things that just “came up,” and management work. Once they make this work visible, they can decide what to do about it.
I like to start the visualization with cards or stickies, so we can move the work around once we ask the next questions.
Tip 2. Ask whether the work is still useful.
Have you wondered sometimes, why you are working on some deliverable? If so, it’s time for the Zeroth Question. That question is:
Should we do this project at all?
Sometimes, the project portfolio has projects because of the sunk cost fallacy. Sometimes, someone’s pet projects are still part of the project portfolio.
You can never regain time or money. If you can’t explain the business value of this project to the organization, maybe the answer is “No, we should declare victory and stop doing this project now.”
Tip 3. Flow the project work through stable teams.
If you have stable teams, they can adjust to whatever work you have for them. Even in many transitioning-to-agile organizations, managers find it difficult to think about stable teams. Managers—and team members—often ask, “What do we do if we need an expert for this part?”
I answered this question in previous Pragmatic Managers: Do You Want More Productivity?, Productive vs. Busy, and Three Myths and Three Tips. Here’s the quick answer:
* Ask the expert to work with the team so the team can learn with the expert
* Ask the team to work together so the team can learn without the expert
* If you must use an expert, make sure the expert never works alone.
Once you decide to manage your project portfolio, you might uncover problems or concerns in your organization. That’s okay. Work through them to see how to still manage your project portfolio and deliver the work.
More Learning with Johanna
I’m thrilled to announce that Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, 2nd edition is out. The Prags have the book in print and all electronic formats. As always, you get a deal when you buy both the print and ebook. In addition, there is a quick-start workbook you can get when you buy the books from the Prags. If you want the print version only, you can buy that on Amazon.
I also have some upcoming speaking:
Sep 14: Exploring Your Servant Leadership (ITMPI webinar)
See my calendar page for all my workshops and speaking dates.
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© 2016 Johanna Rothman
Tags: agile, flow efficiency, multitaslking, project portfolio, tips