Proud to see that the PM World Journal published a next article that I wrote together with Marisa Silva.
As you might recall, last year we (Marisa Silva and myself) went on a safari to hunt the project creatures that could negatively impact a portfolio of projects [Silva, M. and Portman, H. (2019). Creatures that slow down portfolio delivery and how to kill them; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October]. While it was not as exciting as doing it in Kruger Park, we can fortunately say that it was also not as dangerous and we returned sound and safe despite all the white elephant projects, pet projects, and unicorn projects we encountered in the way!
Almost one year after that experience, portfolio management got us thinking again. If portfolios are always a mix of “good” and “bad” projects, those that are well planned and those that are included without any thorough rationale, some that are carefully studied and others that are pure opportunistic, could it be that there are also project creatures that could accelerate and enhance the success of a portfolio? The quest for project creatures continues!
In the animal kingdom there will be animals that are at the top of the system, the apex predators. Also, in your portfolio you will have projects who could play the role of apex predator. It is these predators who will consume your scares resources. To make sure you feed the right projects (‘doing the right projects’) you have to prioritize your projects and assign resources to those projects that enhance and accelerate the value delivery of your portfolio.
Assume you are a portfolio manager or PMO professional and overseeing your portfolio. Compare yourself with a falcon with super sharp eyes who can spot the right project, or do you want to be a seagull that appears from high, swoops in, eats all the projects, makes a lot of squawking, shits on everything and disappears as fast without even noticing if you captured the right ones.
Armed with our experience and the support of other “project hunters”, we found a few. In this article, we present our findings, strategies to capitalise on such beautiful creatures, and why it is so important that at least some of them are in your portfolio of projects.
The project creatures we describe in this article are:
- Cheetah project
- Lion project
- Ants project
- Eagle project
- Bee project
- Dolphin project