Capabilities-Program and Project Portfolio Management

Program and Project Portfolio Management

 

Our practical experience structuring PMOs and driving major organizational initiatives shapes our thinking.  Program managers from Actionable Strategies focus on driving a set of projects to successful completion while providing coaching to project managers. 

 

Project portfolio management is an ongoing discipline of managing a portfolio of investments.  Portfolios are continuously optimized to maximize returns while considering investments, risks and correlation, both positive and negative.  Managing portfolios is highly strategic and requires tough business discipline to make difficult decisions.

 

Product Launch Methodology

Launching a new product is a high-impact initiative with strategic implications. 

Product Launches present the most complex project management challenges.  Actionable Strategies has been called upon to act as Product and Project Managers for Product Launches as well as support these functions in critical situations. 

Opportunity

Launching a new product is a high-impact initiative with strategic implications.  Many organizations focus only on the product-related activities of a launch, but success is generally the result of well-conceived plans that are effectively executed.  Studies have shown that a comprehensive New Product Introduction process delivers meaningful financial and broader business results.

Adoption of Lean and Agile approaches further increases the need for effective Product Launch capabilities.  An integrated Lean approach should incorporate Agile development from concept/feasibility to end-of-life.

Challenges

Product Launches present the most complex project management challenges.  PMs require cross-domain expertise that may not be available to them internally.

Actionable Strategies has been called upon to act as Product and Project Managers for Product Launches as well as support these functions in critical situations. 

Solution Approach

Product Launches are best treated as programs comprised of inter-linked projects.  Actionable Strategies embeds into the client organization and acts collaboratively to drive success.  Documentation of the process and key decisions enable clients to launch future products with greater success.  Actionable Strategies applies a high-level Market Entry Framework proven in a variety of market situations.

Examples of Product Launch activities from past projects include:

  • Market assessment / Product strategy
  • Confidential competitive analysis
  • Financial modeling / lifecycle cost analysis
  • Environmental impact and economic assessment
  • Regulatory and Industry body engagement
  • Iterative product development
  • Process design for implementation and operations
  • Customer product testing and pre-launch surveys
  • Sales, partner and distributor management
  • Training and ramp-up of operations and support
  • Program management of changing expectations, budgets, timelines and risks
  • Post-launch market feedback and recalibration

Engaging a number of expert advisors from Actionable Strategies enables our clients to benefit from extensive industry experience and also apply proven concepts from other markets.  The engagement model is significantly more cost effective than using dedicated resources.

Actionable Strategies Value

Actionable Strategies can apply consultants with different expertise and capabilities on an as-needed basis.  Experience comes from many global markets and challenging industries including:

¨     Communications

¨     Consumer Goods

¨     Energy and Mining

¨     Financial Services

¨     Healthcare/Pharma

¨     Manufacturing

¨     Publishing

¨     Real Estate

¨     Retailing

¨     Software

Change Management: Building a Business Case

Project failure rates are notoriously high with only one-third of all project successfully closed while meeting time and budget targets.  Change management has been one of the critical factors required for successful project implementation for many years.  

Excellent Change Management can improve ROI by a factor of 4 compared to poor Change Management.  At the company level, organizations with effective change and communication are 3.5 times as likely to significantly outperform their peers.  

Business Need

Project failure rates are notoriously high with only one-third of all project successfully closed while meeting time and budget targets (Standish Group).  When examined more closely, project success and failure are directly related to project management discipline.  The relative difference in performance is dramatic.  High performing organizations are able to successfully close 89% of their projects whereas low performing organizations complete only 36%. (Project Management Institute).

Change Management Drives Success

Change management has been one of the critical factors required for successful project implementation for many years.  Deployment of technology, process changes, training and communication are all important foundational elements of a project.  More importantly, driving change and fostering adoption to capture targeted gains is essential to measurable success.  Change management directly impacts the realization of project benefits.

When measuring returns, widely divergent ROI results were directly attributable to change management practices.  Excellent Change Management can improve ROI by a factor of 4 compared to poor Change Management. (McKinsey)

The dramatic improvement in project success and realization of ROI attributable to Change Management creates a management imperative to proactively employ effective practices.

Organizational Best Practice

According to a majority of senior executives, Change Management is an organizational best practice.  They directly link organizational performance to the adoption of change.  (PWC 4th Global Portfolio and Programme Management Survey)  With numerous senior executives reporting visibility into demonstrably large benefits from Change Management, establishing a clear business case is obvious.

Findings and Pitfalls

Experience from our client engagements confirms research on Change Management:

  • Organizations with effective change and communication are 3.5 times as likely to significantly outperform their peers (Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey)
  • 78% of managers found training in projects ineffective (Towers Watson)
  • “The content of change management is reasonably correct, but the managerial capacity to implement it has been woefully underdeveloped” (Harvard Business Review)
  • An outside consultant is best suited to develop a change management plan (Quality Beyond Six Sigma, ISBN 978 0 7506 5561 3, 2003)

Methodology: Lifecycle Cost Analysis

For large programs and strategic initiatives, financial analysis can be quite complex.  Actionable Strategies uses lifecycle cost analysis for account for all costs related to strategic initiatives.  These can be country-level in scope and decades in duration.  Combined with sensitivity analysis and other financial modeling tools, we help our clients understand the potential financial implications matched to the horizon of the investment.

Impact of Cloud on Project Management

This presentation to the Project Management Institute addresses the impact of Cloud Computing on project management.  After covering Cloud concepts, it dives into effectively incorporating Cloud Computing into the project lifecycle: Initiating, Planning, Executing and Closing.  

The presentation covers a broad range of issues outside of technology.  These include operations, finance and human capital.