Your PPPM To-Be Profile

Project/Program Portfolio Management (PPPM)
By PH Lohnes, PMP

Pulling from a previous post on the “What is a PPPM Vision,” this short post will discuss the steps in defining a PPPM To-Be profile based on your PPPM vision. From the previous post on the PPPM vision, let’s review. The characteristics of a PPPM vision are defined by answering the following questions:

  1. Does the PPPM have a vision or maturity roadmap?
    1. If not, what is the driving focus of the PPPM?
    2. If yes, when was the last time it was updated or vetted for viability?
  2. Is the PPPM supportive or supervisory at the portfolio and program levels?
  3. Who is or are the portfolio managers at your organization?
    1. Are they privy to the strategic goals and objectives discussions?
    2. Do they receive support from the “C-level” branch personnel?
  4. Do the portfolio managers use quantitative or qualitative analysis to construct their portfolios? Or a mixture of both? Don’t know.
  5. How is the ideation process conducted to uncover new opportunities for PPPM portfolio level investments? How frequently is the process conducted?
  6. What is the process for determining the benefit / cost relationship of potential portfolio investments? Is it consistent, and equitably applied?
  7. How is funding applied to potential investments? Prioritization, key stakeholder, political?
  8. How are investments measured for execution and alignment with strategic goals / objectives?

The answers to these questions for your organization will put you on the path to defining your PPPM Vision and ultimately your PPPM To-Be profile. The To-Be profile is that goal which you will seek to achieve when starting from your As-Is profile. Without knowing where you want to get to or achieve, defining the PPPM roadmap (the implementation activities that will take you from your current context to the desired context) will be next to impossible or if it is defined, it will most likely be unachievable.

The most important first step is that your PPPM vision has to be firmly understood and approved by those that have the power and authority with which to implement the vision — the senior leadership team (SLT.) My suggestion is that you do not attempt a PPPM roadmap and To-Be profile without such support. If you are finding that your SLT is not interested in defining or supporting such an effort than understand that it is their organization, not yours! They have to stand by their management vision and focus. You cannot push a noodle up hill. Either go find another issue that needs resolution, or find another organization to work for in this discipline.

Some organizations are simply not willing or able to understand the importance of a PPPM vision. As a consultant, I have learned that the concept of “pearls before swine” applies to anything that a non-senior team member attempts to push for which the SLT fens interest or outright disinterest. Do not waste your time or effort on something that they will not support. Move on and up, and this may mean, moving out.


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