Project Pipeline Management


Project pipeline management is an important component of project portfolio management (PPM) because it encompasses the work needed to “select the right projects”. Pipeline management involves steps to ensure that an adequate number of project proposals are generated, evaluated, and screened out at various stages of the intake process that meet strategic objectives. There are four major sub-components to pipeline management: ideation, work in-take processes, and Stage-Gate™ reviews illustrated in the figure below.

1) Ideation
Ideation is the process by which new project ideas are generated. This is slightly different from the work in-take process by which project requests are formally brought forward to a governance board. Ideation is important for collecting the best ideas from the organization, for collecting a sufficient number of project proposals to generate higher quality projects, and to maintain a healthy organization by engaging employees to submit their ideas.

2) Opportunity Management
Opportunity management complements ideation and further strengthens the project selection process. Some ideas may be great, but for one reason or another, the timing is not right or some other constraint makes the execution of the idea difficult or impossible. For this reason, organizations should establish a “parking lot” of good ideas waiting to enter the project pipeline. This parking lot is really a collection of all of the opportunities waiting to be captured.  The processes for managing opportunities are similar to the processes for managing risks except that opportunities are future events that could produce positive outcomes for the organization. Opportunities often fall into the “should do” or “could do” categories, but enable organizations to achieve more or perform better than planned. Without an opportunity management process, organizations risk losing visibility of potentially beneficial future projects.

3) Work In-Take
The work in-take process refers to the steps of developing a project proposal and bringing it to the governance board for a go/no-go decision. This process works in conjunction with both ideation and stage-gate, but can also be a standalone process. When used with ideation and Stage-gate, the work in-take process helps bridge these other two processes together.  The work in-take process is important so that all project proposals are created in a consistent manner with common tools and processes. The unintended consequences of not having a work in-take process include organizational confusion, time delays, and quality erosion.

4)  Decision Gates
Decision gates (also known as Stage-Gate™) are a critical component of pipeline management. A winning portfolio must contain winning projects, therefore the portfolio management team (PMT) must be able to discriminate between good projects and great projects. The decision gate process enables the PMT to review these projects based on preselected strategic criteria at the gate reviews of the decision gate process. At each of those gates, important project information is provided to the Portfolio Management Team to make a go/no-go decision related to the project. Without this mechanism, unnecessary or poorly planned projects can enter the portfolio and bog down the work load of the organization, hampering the benefits realized from truly important and strategic projects.

Project Pipeline Management

 

Read More

Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)


Project Management Institute (PMI) recently announced that a new Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification would be available later this year. This is very exciting since PMI had released their 3rd edition of the Portfolio Management standard yet had not made a certification previously available in portfolio management. The eligibility requirements are steeper than the PMP.

“PfMP Eligibility Overview
To apply for the PfMP, you need to have either:

A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent), with at least seven years (10,500 hours) of portfolio management experience within the past 15 consecutive years.

OR

A four year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent), with at least four years (6,000 hours) of portfolio management experience within the past 15 consecutive years.

AND

Since portfolio management focuses on strategic investment matters and high level organizational decisions, it is pertinent to have a foundation of professional business experience. All applicants must possess a minimum of eight years (96 months) of professional business experience.

The PfMP Exam Content Outline is expected to be made available by September 2013. Applications are expected to be made available in Q4 2013. The first opportunity to test during the pilot is expected to be late Q4 2013.”

I can’t wait for the Portfolio Management Professional certification to be officially available.

 

Read More