Business Focused PfM
I'm not talking about something like managing the benefits realization - that's important, but whether we achieve the benefits is in part a consequence of how we manage the portfolio. Rather I am suggesting that portfolio management has to remain constantly focused on the business objectives, making decisions that are designed to maximize the organization's chances of achieving those goals and objectives, even if it means compromising the chances of success on one or more projects.
Let's look at a very simple example. Suppose that one of the organization's goals and objectives for the year is to achieve a 20% increase in market share for a particular product line. Obviously there are many other goals and objectives for the entire organization, but let's just focus on that one. The annual planning process will have identified a number of initiatives that will contribute to achieving that goal, perhaps including:
- A product development project that will deliver a new version of the product with more features and faster performance standards
- A marketing campaign aimed at increasing exposure of the product to the target market and focusing on the competitive advantage that it offers over competitors
- Streamlining of internal processes to reduce the organization's management costs for the product in order to facilitate a price reduction without impacting profitability
Each of those projects will have its own project manager and he or she will be focused on ensuring that the specific deliverables are achieved. However, from a PfM perspective, we are not concerned with any one of those projects' deliverables, our focus remains on the 20% market share gain, and how we achieve that is somewhat irrelevant. Yes, you read that right; the projects themselves don't matter, what matters is ensuring that the overall business goal of 20% is achieved.