For many new or aspiring project managers, enterprise project management is the “big show.” Managing large, complex projects for a huge organization is exciting and rewarding in a way that smaller-scale project management can’t quite match. At the same time, managing projects at the enterprise level is also highly demanding, regardless of the methodology. If you’re interested in managing enterprise projects, here’s a look at some of the unique features and challenges you can expect to face.
The process by which projects are approved and initiated is one of the most visible distinctions between enterprise project management and project management on a smaller scale. Small companies often take an informal approach, deciding on projects after brief discussions and beginning them right away. Large organizations, on the other hand, typically have strict guidelines and red tape that govern how projects should be proposed, evaluated and approved. In some cases, project managers have to wait weeks, or even months, for projects to receive the final stamp of approval.
Program and Portfolio Management
A focus on groups of interrelated projects is another key characteristic of enterprise project management. Large companies have multiple projects underway at all times, and these projects need to be carefully managed so that they don’t duplicate each other’s efforts or conflict with one another’s goals. Many organizations bundle projects into programs and portfolios, each of which are aligned with one or more high-level company strategies.
Cross-functional Project Management
At the enterprise level, project teams are usually large, diverse and constantly evolving. Teams can include dozens or hundreds of people, from multiple departments or business units, located in many different offices or cities. On a project that is scheduled to last for a year or longer, employees or contractors often join only for a few weeks or months at a time, and even then are typically committed to other projects as well. An enterprise project manager spends a great deal of his or her time simply ensuring that team members are available when needed and have the tools they need in order to connect with one another on an as-needed basis.
Project Management Technology
It should be clear by now that enterprise project management is simply not possible without sophisticated project management software. Large projects involve too many team members, tasks, budget items and reporting requirements for anyone to manage without a flexible, feature-rich PM solution. Enterprise project managers use software like Clarizen to create project plans, assign and track tasks and perform dozens of other essential activities. Clarizen also provides unique collaboration tools that help team members share updates and ideas in real time while keeping all project information in a central location.
If you’re looking for innovative project management solutions for your PM challenges, learn more about how Clarizen is helping software developers, technology firms, marketing firms and other organizations.
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