Project Management on SharePoint: Better and Faster with BrightWork and Nintex

With BrightWork powering your project portfolio management on SharePoint, combined with the point-and-click automation of Nintex, you will get faster and better Project Portfolio Management, so you can make decisions faster and move projects forward to success sooner.   Automated Status Reporting and Email Alerts BrightWork project management templates on SharePoint provide all the tools required for project managers to track both project progress and performance and keep stakeholders informed. One way of tracking project progress is by it’s phase. As project tasks are completed by team members, so are their relative phases. Using Nintex Workflows, you can automatically alert stakeholders via email that a phase is complete and indicate what the next actions are at this stage of the project.   Automated Exception Reporting BrightWork templates for portfolio management give senior executives high-level visibility into the health of multiple projects across the organization. Nintex Workflows make it easy to create new activities (e.g. issues or risks) in your projects, based on certain conditions. A typical example is that an issue is automatically logged if a critical milestone misses its deadline, which can then be tracked and assigned on the portfolio dashboards in BrightWork.   Flexible Project Request Management BrightWork…

How to Use Project Portfolio Metrics to Deliver Business Value

In an increasingly competitive business environment, more organizations are turning to project portfolio management (PPM) to meet strategic goals and objectives. Providing organizations with a system to implement the right projects at the right time, effective PPM improves decision-making, optimizes resource management, and delivers better business value. Maintaining a healthy portfolio requires organizations to align the portfolio with strategy and to select suitable metrics to track progress. It’s also important to periodically review the overall status of the portfolio against agreed goals and external business factors to identify any changes. Let’s take a look at each of these components.   Project Portfolio Management and Business Strategy As defined by Porter, strategy is “a process of analysis which is designed to achieve the competitive advantage of an organization over another in the long term”. Strategy should reflect the organization’s purpose, informing company structure and ways of working.  Porter identified three types of strategy – cost, leadership, or differentiation – and recommended organizations pursue one strategy type to achieve optimal results. Realizing a strategy depends on comprehensive implementation plans, which reflect internal capabilities and resources, and external opportunities and threats.  Projects are increasingly core to the delivery of agreed strategy, but can…

A Brief Introduction to Project Portfolio Governance

Trying to run successful project management in an organization without knowing what projects are underway, what projects are planned, and who is doing which work is like flying blind.  Inevitably, some projects are doomed from the start. An article in CIO Magazine shared two anecdotes (and I’m sure you can tell me more just like them!): A director of information services in one organization estimated that his department had 20 projects in flight. Turns out, they had 60! In another organization, three project managers arrived at a planning meeting with project plans that all required 100 percent of available resources.   Situations like this are quite common in project management, making strong project portfolio governance essential.  The rest of this blog will explore the importance of project portfolio governance in an organization, including a few ways a tool like BrightWork can help! What is Project Portfolio Governance? The Association for Project Management defines project portfolio governance as: “the selection, prioritization, and control of an organization’s projects and programmes in line with its strategic objectives and capacity to deliver. The goal is to balance change initiatives and business-as-usual while optimizing return on investment.” Just because someone has an idea for a…

9 Steps for Implementing Successful Project Portfolio Management

When implemented correctly, project portfolio management (PPM) transforms organizational approaches to project management and business growth.  PPM ensures organizations execute the right projects at the right time in a consistent way to deliver maximum business value. Like any major change within an organization, introducing PPM practices and processes requires a roadmap to success. Read on for a 9-step PPM implementation plan.   “Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment”. —Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last Step 1: Set the Strategy Aligning projects to business strategy is core to project portfolio management so it makes sense to start with a clear understanding of that strategy. What does your business want to achieve and when? What solutions or internal transformations are needed to reach these goals? Speak with senior stakeholders and executives about their definition of value and expectations from current projects. Understanding this big picture will help you win executive support for PPM in Step 2 and develop a ranking system for projects in Step 4.   Step 2: Win Executive Support Introducing PPM requires a shift in mindset and processes that some individuals will resist. To reduce this friction, you need to identify key stakeholders…

The Business Case for Project Portfolio Management Software

You would think because project management is a relatively old and mature discipline, it would be practiced successfully everywhere, and there wouldn’t be many failed projects. Unfortunately, this is not the case. What we find is a landscape littered with delayed, challenged, and unfortunately, failed projects. Unfortunately, while we would think that project management is easy and natural, careful and effective project management is still needed. Deploying a project portfolio management solution will help you get projects under control and on the right track. FREE EBOOK: PROJECT & PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE EVALUATION GUIDE Project Management Quiz Let’s start with a few questions to assess the state of project management in your organization: Are all your projects performing to expectations? Have you real-time visibility into all projects? Are all the individuals involved skilled and trained in Project Management? Are there templates (i.e. guidance) on how to deliver projects collaboratively?   If the answered “No” to some or all of the above questions, it may be helpful to deploy a solution to support your project management initiatives.   The Cost of Failed Projects One of the biggest reasons to invest in a PPM solution is the bottom line.  Failed projects are a waste…

How to Work Effectively with Your Project Sponsor

Think back to your most recent successful project. What factors contributed to the desired outcome? A clear purpose supported by a detailed plan? Access to the right resources at the right time? An engaged team? A little bit of luck? Although a number of elements underpin project success, access to an active project sponsor is the most important, and perhaps, the most elusive. In fact, sponsorship is the first of our five critical success factors for project management improvement! If you are struggling to work with your project sponsor, read on for practical tips and insights to leverage this relationship. Who is a Project Sponsor? Often holding a senior position within the organization, the project sponsor is responsible for initiating and approving the project and supporting the project manager during execution. The project sponsor identifies the business need behind the project, helps the project manager to keep work on track, and ensures the organization enjoys the full benefits of the final deliverables. The project sponsor should possess a strong appreciation of your organization’s strategic goals, understand their role as sponsor, exert influence, and have some project management experience. It also important to consider the personality, temperament, and skill-set of any…

Project Portfolio Management: 5 Benefits and 5 Common Mistakes

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, project portfolio management (PPM) is distinct from project management; rather than taking on a single project and seeing it through to completion, PPM involves the collective management of an entire portfolio of projects. PPM managers are responsible for determining what projects to take on, when to take them on, the profitability and priority of those projects (including how they change over time), and how to allocate resources in the most efficient way to complete those projects. Here are some of the benefits of project portfolio management and some of the most common mistakes to avoid when practicing the discipline. Benefits of Project Portfolio Management Benefit #1 -Better Decision Making Our first branch of PPM benefits concerns its ability to drive better business decisions. To make good decisions, you need good data, making visibility crucial from both a strategic, top-down perspective and from a tactical bottoms-up perspective. When you have a firm handle on past project metrics, it makes it much easier to predict future factors like resource utilization. Moreover, when you know what is happening in your current project portfolio, you can find out which projects are not contributing to corporate objectives. As…

[CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT] – Universal Health Services, Inc.

Company Overview Universal Health Services, Inc. is one of the largest and most respected hospital management companies in the United States. Founded in 1978 the company operates through its subsidiaries more than 350 acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers in the US, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. More than 81,000 dedicated and talented employees treat more than 2.5 million people each year in this Fortune 500 Company. In this interview, Michelle Boyes, Project Manager, explains how the PMO team is using BrightWork to deliver and manage multiple projects.   What is your experience of Project Management at Universal Health Services, Inc (UHS)? I have been a Project Manager with UHS for 8 years and I currently sit on the Project Management Office (PMO) team which falls under the corporate Information Services (IS) umbrella.   The PMO Team is a busy one: 9 team members Supporting 3 divisions of IS employees, 330+ employees: 1. Behavioral Health 2. Acute 3. Enterprise teams  Overseeing an average of 150+ active projects at any one time.     We use BrightWork for project portfolio management and have been doing so for 7+ years. The PMO team typically…

What is Project Portfolio Management?

Until recently, I had no idea what project portfolio management, also known PPM or portfolio management, was. Like many people, I’m an ‘accidental’ project manager, someone who has to manage projects from time to time to deliver my work but is not a qualified professional project manager. I can just about get my head around managing one project at a time, never mind worrying about multiple projects! My interest in project portfolio management was sparked after I read two surveys on the status of project management in 2017. The surveys from the Project Management Institute and KPMG outline the importance of successful projects to strategic commercial goals, highlighting the role of PPM in delivering those projects. I dug a little deeper into PPM, and have put together some key ideas for anyone new to this discipline.   What is Project Portfolio Management? A portfolio is a collection of projects grouped together; an organization may have one overall portfolio or several portfolios for different areas of the business. Project portfolio management refers to “the centralized management of one or more project portfolios to achieve strategic objectives”. In essence, project portfolio management ensures all approved and ongoing projects meet strategic objectives, and…

Project Visibility and Portfolio Reporting in SharePoint [Infographic]

Staying on top of projects across an organization can be tricky! The lack of visibility into projects is one of the most common complaints we hear from our customers and the wider community. The complaint is often:  senior management needs more accurate reporting into project and portfolio information. However, senior executives are not the only ones who suffer from poor project visibility – everyone does! Poor project visibility results in team members unsure of what their tasks are and no reporting on the status of those tasks for project managers – not to mention how you are supposed to communicate all that to stakeholders! Project visibility is one of the keys to unlock successful project management. Project portfolio reporting is another. BrightWork provides a range of powerful reporting templates, which include a range of configurable dashboards that enable project managers to keep projects on track and gives senior executives the visibility and control they need to deliver project success across the organization. Check out this infographic below for a snapshot of a sample of templates:   In addition, just this week we had a hugely successful live webinar on Project Visibility and Portfolio Reporting in SharePoint – and you can check out the recording here! This…

Would Your PMO Pass a Project Management Audit?

With the future growth of many companies depending on the successful strategic investments in core projects, effective project management governance is becoming a key shareholder focus. As witnessed many times in the news, project failures can have a major significant negative impact on a company’s bottom line and share price. As a result,  project management offices (PMOs) are increasingly being subjected to Project Management Audits, usually by external auditors on behalf of a company to ensure effective governance and compliance is in place.   The Purpose of a Project Management Audit The purpose of a Project Management Audit is to determine the likelihood of risk of quality and delivery being realized with the current project portfolio. Project Management Audits are an independent objective review and examination of project management records and activities to assess the adequacy of governance controls,  and to ensure compliance with industry and company regulations and policies.   The Role of a PMO A major benefit for companies now is that their PMO can play a centralized role in managing the governance of projects and ensuring that projects meet company audit requirements. As always, a key theme to project management is there are ‘no surprises.” A PMO can drive the importance of risk management so risks…

Key Activities for Setting up a Successful PMO

Creating a project for an implementation of a project management office (PMO) is considered a best practice, which will maximize the outcome.as well as maximizing a positive outcome for a successful outcome. All the key tasks and status of setting up a PMO can be tracked and reported in BrightWork ensuring maximum visibility and buy-in from the relevant stakeholders. With the different templates that come with BrightWork, you can also create a PMO office with underlying projects reporting rolling up to the PMO office. This creates a single source of truth, a significant benefit of having a PMO within an organization. In addition,  BrightWork templates allow the project management maturity of the organization to grow the establishment of the PMO.   Setup a SharePoint Project Management Office with BrightWork – Get started free today!   5 Steps to Set Up a Succesful PMO The Project Management Office (PMO) set up process is divided into five phases to ensure a controlled implementation of a PMO takes place. This delivers the most value with least disruption to stakeholders. In the plan below, the duration of the phases and tasks have been omitted as every Project Management Office (PMO) set up is specific to…

One Page Plan for Successful Portfolio Management

The objective of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is to determine the optimal mix and sequencing of proposed projects to best achieve the organization’s overall business objectives typically expressed in hard economic measures and business strategy goals. BENEFITS OF PPM 1) Improved alignment with business strategy and objectives by assigning the right resources to the right activities at the right time: Demand management Portfolio selection Capacity planning Portfolio reporting.   2) Improved visibility and control within the organization: Resource management Financial management Project reporting Project scheduling Project management.   3) Improved organization collaboration from working to same agenda and priorities: Improved interdepartmental collaboration Structured sharing of information to support knowledge sharing Change management Communication of schedule milestones Issues and risk management.   4) Improved Pipeline Management The determination of which set of projects in the portfolio can be executed by a company with finite development resources in a specified time. Fundamental to pipeline management is the ability to align the decision-making process for estimating and selecting new capital investment projects with the strategic plan.    5) Improved Resource Management The focus on efficient and effective deployment of an organization’s resources where and when they are needed. These can include financial resources, inventory, staff,…

25 Must-Know Metrics for Your Project Management Office

Traditionally, the project management office (PMO) has focused on tactical metrics such as project management skills, processes, and templates. These metrics are a little too inward focused. Developing meaningful PMO metrics for a project management dashboard is a challenge for many project management offices. A primary strength of BrightWork is its reporting capability, including a wide choice of configurable project management performance metrics and dashboards easily customized to all types of audiences within an organization.   Defining PMO Metrics More strategic PMO performance metrics now focus on value to key stakeholders. Metrics such as the number of PMs certified in PRINCE 2 / MSP are not included in this list. This is not to say that these are not valid metrics but may not really mean much to business stakeholders who just want their projects delivered on time, in budget, and fit for purpose. In defining project management metrics for a PMO, there is a very simple 3 step process worth considering: Step 1:  What outcome are you trying to show? Step 2: What questions will show your attainment of the defined outcome? Step 3: What measures can you define to answer the questions?   25 PMO Metrics Note: It is not intended that a PMO…

Metrics, Schmetrics! Using SharePoint for Project Portfolio Management

To be really successful in using SharePoint for project portfolio management across an organization, we have to get to grips with metrics.  While SharePoint is the perfect collaborative environment for PPM, it’s not easy to get simple views of the progress, health, and risk level of a single project, or of all the projects in an entire portfolio.  Or is it? Here are the top 5 project metrics questions our clients typically ask for.  We expect the same questions come up in any organization that’s trying to effectively manage multiple projects on SharePoint. We manage lots of projects in a very loosely structured way.  How do we do it well with very simple metrics? How do we manage the metrics on a medium sized project (with more structure) in a more automated way? We use MS Project.  How do we get metrics from MS Project into SharePoint? How do we look at multiple projects and see what’s happening with our metrics? How can we see a collection of metrics for a project this week, last week, the week before, etc.?  Like a status report for both a single project, and across projects for my project office.   Is all of this…