Do you feel totally swamped at work, drowning in missed deadlines and scrambling to make sure projects are being implemented and completed according to plan? If you’re trying to manage multiple projects without using some kind of project portfolio management tool, you’re essentially walking through the desert without any water: you’re doomed to fail eventually!
Here are the top 7 signs you need a project portfolio management tool to stay on track, on budget and on time, no matter what strategies are up for consideration.
1. Your team tends to react to upper management requests instead of strategizing the best course of action
When managers say “jump,” do you and your team respond with, “How high?” This isn’t necessarily effective. Upper management may have some good ideas, but they aren’t always practical. By devoting time and resources to what is essentially the latest whim, you cannot use those resources effectively or to track data. In short, think about this: do you and your colleagues strategize and plan ahead, or do you make knee-jerk reactions when something doesn’t go right, regardless of the risks?
2. Success is judged arbitrarily
If you were asked to produce data that demonstrates the effectiveness of your current strategies, would you be able to do so with ease? Would you scratch your head and refer the question to another department? Would a few numbers be sloppily procured and hastily explained? Data is the backbone of effective decision making. Without data to back up your claims, every potential project is a shot in the dark. Discover what works and plan to duplicate it while avoiding projects with negative ROI.
3. You have data, but it is not centrally located
Raw data spread out over countless programs and contained within separate departments is about as useful as no data at all. The best data is centrally located, easy to decipher and provides a “big picture” look at the entire company. That way, you and your team can determine how a project could affect every department without having to bend over backwards to get that information or data.
4. Communication between team members could use improvement
Perhaps some team members just never seem to “get the memo” about project changes. Maybe communication within a single team is excellent, but communication between teams is ineffective. Either way, a project portfolio management tool can help ensure that all team members stay up-to-date on project requirements and expectations. It can also allow upper management to easily find the point person for a particular project should they have a question or concern.
5. Deadlines aren’t taken seriously, and neither are meetings
If you have too many projects in-progress at one time, it is no wonder meeting dates and deadlines can sometimes be confused or completely forgotten. A project portfolio management tool helps to keep things organized and moving forward so that meetings are not only attended, but also efficient and effective!
6. Clients do not know what’s going on. If your clients have to constantly call the office to ask for an update, perhaps it’s time to turn the tables and keep them properly up-to-date with their projects. A project portfolio management tool can make it easy for most clients to access progress reports or for project managers to schedule follow-up calls.
7. The decision-making process tends to be one-sided. Do team members tend to get caught up in the excitement of a potential new project, honing in only on the positive aspects without considering possible risks? It’s important to look at the ROI of each new idea. The lower the risk of losing money, time and other resources, the better. Because a project portfolio management tool displays data from across the company, decision making becomes more balanced.
Project Portfolio Management Made Easy
In short, a project portfolio management tool makes it easier than ever to balance a plate full of ideas, deadlines, communications, clients and more. It gives you a big-picture overview that allows you and your team to consider advantages and drawbacks to new project ideas. Because it’s full of data and solutions, it’s the organizational tool that will make you wonder how you ever managed to do your job without it!