As a company grows larger and becomes more diverse in its operations, it may begin to experience a variety of growing pains. Company leaders often discover that separate departments or business units are working on similar projects, resulting in duplicated effort and wasted resources.
Worse yet, two groups within a large organization might find that they are working on projects that directly compete with or contradict each other. Even after these situations are brought to light, they can take weeks or months to resolve, consuming even more time and resources in the process.
The solution? Enterprise project management.
What Is Enterprise Project Management?
To understand what enterprise project management is and why it’s important, it’s best to take a step back and consider the definition of project management itself.
The Project Management Institute defines project management as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” Simple enough, right? However, a company involved in dozens of temporary endeavors, each focused on a unique goal—and often a specific deadline, needs a way to organize and direct those endeavors to ensure that together, they bring the company closer to its long-term goals. That’s where enterprise project management comes in.
Enterprise project management is best viewed as a specialized branch of traditional project management that focuses on an organization’s overall business objectives, rather than very specific short-term goals. By grouping projects together and taking a broader view of its activities, a company can avoid internal conflicts and wasted effort.
Projects, Programs, and Portfolios
An enterprise project management approach can involve grouping individual projects into programs, and viewing the sum of an organization’s projects and programs as a portfolio. Many companies use the term “enterprise program management” and “project portfolio management” to describe the higher-level activities involved in orchestrating multiple projects at the same time. Regardless of how your company refers to it, enterprise project, program, or portfolio management can help take your business efforts to the next level.
What Makes Enterprise Project Management Successful?
Adopting enterprise project management can help a company take a more strategic approach to its budget, operations and resource allocations. Before choosing an approach for enterprise project management, a company should ensure that it has the following key pieces in place:
- High-level support for project management initiatives: As with any large-scale initiative, enterprise project management will only be effective if a company’s leaders are committed to the idea and take an active interest in moving it forward.
- Qualified project managers: In many cases, a company’s most experienced project managers are ideally suited to assist senior leadership with program management or portfolio management duties. For more information about what makes a project manager qualified, check out The 10 Most Important Project Management Skills.
- Sophisticated project management software: No one person, or even group of people, can keep track of dozens of interrelated projects without strong technological support. Today’s best project management solutions, like Clarizen, offer a range of tools to help managers track the timelines, budgets and resource needs of multiple projects at once.
For information about how Clarizen can help your company avoid internal conflict and wasted efforts, learn more about our innovative enterprise applications for project and portfolio management.