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Each year the credibility of project portfolio management (PPM) as a means of prioritising projects appears to grow. At its simplest PPM gives a central portfolio management office (PMO) a complete view of all projects under consideration and their status, and the power to decide whether to invest or divest in them. The PMO can …

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It's all down to communications

The trouble with the formal approaches is that they tend to focus attention on completion of paperwork - progress reports, red / amber / green "flags" and the like - which diverts the PM's time & attention away from actually understanding what the reportees are actually doing. If the PM can't or won't interpret just what he / she's being told against the cold light of reality then the project will fail, no matter how many interim targets are allegedly met.

If the PM actually understands what he / she's being told - irrespective of formal targets - then it's much more likely the project will proceed to successful completion. The formal approaches only work when they are used as an aide where appropriate, & not an end in themselves.

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Project Management

What is it all about eh? Do these methodologies work?

On various projects I have seen the following management methods -

MBO - Management by Objectives

Japanese management - seemed to be the same as MBO but Objectives referred to by the Japanese word for Objectives, which to be honest I have forgotten

ISO9001 Quality Management - lots and lots of expensive consultants and paperwork

Matrix Management - just like the film almost incomprehensible and certainly difficult to work out who was responsible for anything

PRINCE - lets not go there but about the same as ISO9001

ITIL - same as Prince, except most PM's seemed to be ex help desk staff which gave variable results

6 Sigma - I think this is a sort of Martial Arts type of PM, personally tried to avoid all contact not wishing to get a blow to painful bits of anatomy

..... Finally Toyota - this from the company that has recalled an awful lot of stuff - seems to feature coffee and chats round a Notice board

Ya knows I gotta think that PMO will totally succeed where all these others have failed, well I would say that having read the article. Mind I did have my fingers crossed while I was typing.

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Yag
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Good idea... in a perfect world.

In the real world, the sentence "Such criteria can obviously be highly subjective and open to manipulation or distortion." clearly state that the most successful in this approval stage will remain silver-tongued number-fiddling crooks...

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