EXPERIENCING THE TRANSFORMATION IN PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT (PPM)? THANK MILLENNIALS.
In the United States alone, Generation Y makes up for a substantial portion of today’s workforce, bringing with them change. For many, any form of change can be a very daunting prospect, but in most cases, its necessary for growth. In the context of PPM, the new generation has started implementing approaches and deviations taken from the traditional style to form what many modern businesses know today as standard.
If it ain’t broke why fix it?
It’s a fair observation, but the fact of the matter is, new developments in PPM have brought about an increased profitability and advantage over the competition. Although certain aspects of traditional PPM have been carried over, some have been less favoured.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and recurring problems in conventional approaches to PPM:
Information that’s either biased or incomplete
To do their jobs effectively, project managers need as much accurate information as possible, accuracy however isn’t so easy to come by.
This is because data presented by project managers or account reps may differ, resulting in inconsistent formats and widely varying degrees of knowledge across projects. Naturally, projects with the highest priority win resources, and with this in mind, some PM’s may be more inclined to produce misleading information to optimize their own projects.
No single selection method
When it comes to deciding on a project of the highest priority, there are a number of factors to take into account — profitability, clients, speed at which a project can reach completion, and the reputation benefits of your brand. Due to the number of elements involved, project managers often struggle to make decisions for the best results.
If unplanned for, bottleneck resources can interrupt the entire process and therefore compromise deadlines. This in turn not only affects availability, but turnover. For instance, let’s say you’re working with a portfolio of web projects, but your pool of front-end developers are needed for all of them. There may be no way to accelerate the completion of a single project until the bottleneck resource spends requisite time on each.
Change is inevitable and rapid in modern businesses, however most PPM infrastructure and processes are obsolete. The key lies in consistency and profitability — imperative to success. Some of the more traditional project managers believe the solution is in keeping processes rigid and unchanged, what they fail to see however, is that this only makes it more difficult to respond to changes promptly.
How exactly is the millennial generation making changes to PPM?
Improved technological tools
Technology is to Millennials as air is to lungs. Project managers of today want to use advanced PPM software to allow for lean PPM. Why? Because lean PPM works to strip superfluous components out by focusing on four key areas; strategy, collection, decision, and execution. Using an efficient platform allows for transparency and access across the board, as well as greater consistency and higher efficiency.
Reduced decision-making cycles
Wanting information faster is another trait of the Millennial, and this seemingly innate attribute can be seen in project management — what once took a month now takes a week, and what once took a day now takes an hour. As a millennial I’m still waiting for the day where what now takes a minute only takes a second! While we’re able to access information at the click of a button today, traditional decision making was based during a time when information was not readily available.
A broader range of tactics from project type to the tools used to determine priority have since been introduced. With the newer generation willing to learn from dated processes, they’re open to new ways of thinking and thus new tools for the job. Increased diversity and exposure only leads to higher levels of experimentation, and evidently improved strategies.
Agile/adaptive selection criteria
Millennials recognise stagnation as a problem. New data can move quickly through an organization, (all it takes is a single development to completely compromise a plan). Adaptive strategies are therefore a focus when it comes to project portfolio management to allow for more agile responses to developments as they come.
While there’s no way of proving that the strategies of Generation Y are more superior than those which precede them, there’s an unquestionable number of benefits.
Why not consider incorporating changes outlined in this article to your PPM department? Not only will you modernise your strategy but you’ll also develop a competitive edge.