The PPPM Roadmap Components: Focus

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

When developing the PPPM roadmap from your PPPM vision, the aggressiveness of your implementation or the roadmap time frame will need to be settled with your Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Understand that being overly temporally aggressive may impact your organization to the point of the roadmap not being supported by those you will need. Implementing a PPPM vision through a roadmap will be viewed by many as “extra-curricular” work — taking resources from normal operations or projects. The time frame must match with both your organizational strategic goals and available resources.

Once the time frame is decided upon, dividing the time frame into manageable periods will then require that you define components for each of the periods. The first roadmap component is that of FOCUS:

Focus is the concept of fixation on one’s direction towards a defined horizon. In business or project management, focus is the totem against which activities, decisions, and events are matched to ensure the period’s outcomes are met. Focus keeps one from veering off-track or from “bird-dogging” into areas not aligned with the period’s defined goals.

An example might assist with your understanding of these concepts. For the example, you are part of an organization tasked with provided a series of software applications stemming from user interfaces to customer database operations. You have several large clients in a single industry that all use the same basic applications with a bit of customization for each client. The organization has been doing project management for 7 years, and just implemented a program management environment about 2 years ago in order to achieve a level of efficiency in your project management activities. One of the SLT members recently attended one of my portfolio management seminars and is now sensitive towards implementing a full PPPM solution in your organization.

The following parameters have been decided upon by the SLT:

  • PPPM vision implementation time frame is for 2 years using 4 – 6 month periods
  • The PPPM vision is to have a closed-system implemented from the top-down perspective – meaning the PPPM environment will manage from the general to the specific or portfolio to project level.
  • The portfolio manager will be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

With this scenario in place, we can now begin to discuss the components defined in each period that when taken in their totality will implement the PPPM roadmap from the organization’s PPPM vision. Keep these associations in mind: the PPPM vision and its time frame segmented into the desired number of periods over which the roadmap will be promulgated.

For each of the four periods, Period A through D, the components must be defined beginning with the focus for each of the periods. The focus series could be as follows:

  1. Period A focus: Key Performance Indicators (KPI) development, PPPM organizational structure, processes
  2. Period B focus: PPPM performance metrics definition and gathering
  3. Period C focus: Configuration management, investment ideation, and termination processes
  4. Period D focus: Completion of a closed-loop PPPM solution including tooling and training

These are only examples that an organization under the above conditions might define as each period’s focus. You can now begin with your exercise.

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