Portfoleon goes alpha

I am super excited, as we have reached the Alpha milestone with Portfoleon, so I am going to make a short post about why did I start making Portfoleon in the first place. There are quite some great project management tools on the market already, such as Jira (my favorite!) or Asana or Wrike or TFS – and many more; the list goes on and on! It goes without question that you should have a tool to manage your projects 🙂 And yet with all this diversity I could not find any tool that could help me with my portfolio management needs, which happen to be quite different from what I need for project management. When I was looking for a tool, I took time to summarize my needs, and here is the first list I came up with. I would like to continuously communicate my portfolio roadmap and priorities…

Do not make these mistakes when using Cost of Delay based prioritization

One of the most important decisions portfolio managers make is where the resources of the organization should be focused. There are tons of prioritization techniques to determine which project, epic, or feature should be the first to implement. To make the best use of a prioritization method or technique, you should know how it works, what are its limitations and preconditions. In this post, I will show you three little “catches” of Cost of Delay (CoD) based prioritization methods, such as WSJF. Understanding the role of Job Size WSJF score formula includes job value and size, which may remind you of the ROI calculation. Compare: and: Both formulas include benefits (value) and costs (job size). However, the job size factor in the WSJF stands for an entirely different reason. The real intention of the score is to weigh the cost of delay against the lead time. Because the lead time…

Good Projects and Bad Projects to Have in Your Portfolio

Are projects the only reasonable way to develop products? Do you, as a portfolio manager, use projects as your only means to add value? Projects “Cargo Cult” According to the PwC global project management report, 97% of organizations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. However, the trust that organizations place in such projects backfires when managers, because projects worked for them in the past, start to automatically create projects for every possible change. For example, an organization decides to create a commercial software product that would automate creation of expense notes for traveling employees: The product manager (PdM): “I would like to create a project to deliver the first version of my product. The business case for my product has been approved by senior management.” PMO: “We will appoint a project manager and start a project.” The new project manager (PjM): “I am desperately…

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The Key to Good Project Kickoff

You know something is wrong when people on your project team come to meetings unprepared and waste time on endless discussions, find other things to do than what your project requires, and do not openly acknowledge there is a problem. These symptoms indicate a problem that appeared as early as your project kickoff. (source: clipartfest.com) Here is how to do kickoff meetings that work. Importance of the project kickoff meeting The kickoff meeting is where all stakeholders involved in your project get on the same page, regarding the goals, roles and responsibilities, constraints, risks, and all other aspects of the project management plan. It is necessary for project success that the stakeholders share the understanding of the project goals, know the plan, and have confidence in the project – and it starts with the kickoff. If you do all the preparatory work right, the stakeholders will know a lot information…

Test your project portfolio management with these two simple questions

How do you know if project portfolio management is working well in your organization? I mean – you probably have many procedures and tools you use to manage your projects, you fill templates to collect all the right data, and you rank your projects with sophisticated scorecards, but at the end of the day – does the entire system work and bring value? While you can use different standards and carefully audit your portfolio management system, you can get a lot of good information just by asking a few good questions. Check if you can answer, with confidence, the following: Why do we need to do this project now? How much value have we brought so far? If this does not seem a lot to you, read on to see why these questions are so powerful. 1.   Why do we need to do this project now? The answer may seem…