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In the serious and structured world of project management – where buying staples has an audit trail and lunch is seen as a deliverable – it’s strangely common for project mangers to find themselves thrust into portfolio management. There they are, happily rolling past milestones and religiously reading the Clarizen blog (right?). And then all of a sudden, the Powers That Be install them in charge of the whole portfolio, with a mandate to succeed (and all the staples they need).

Old Skool PPM MixFortunately for executives, project managers are a hardy, resilient bunch who derive an immense sense of satisfaction from overcoming challenges and making the impossible, possible. Intimidated outsiders can mistakenly call this stubbornness. But initiated insiders know that it’s good old fashioned willpower (and yeah, OK, some stubbornness as well). This means that most project managers who find themselves at the helm of the portfolio are up to the challenge. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the conventional or “old skool” project management software they’re forced to use.

That’s because old skool project management software is fundamentally incapable of supporting project portfolio management ­– and believing otherwise is disastrous, because it sets projects and ultimately the portfolio up for failure. And that’s when BAD THINGS happen to GOOD PROJECTS and GREAT PEOPLE.

When Failure Isn’t an Option

Fortunately, the marketplace offers much more than old skool project management software. That’s why enterprises with a well-developed aversion to portfolio management failure have turned to solutions that empower their managers, executives and other senior stakeholders to:

  • Achieve strategic alignment between project activity and overall enterprise strategy and goals
  • Ensure that projects are selected and supported because they achieve ROI – not because they’re merely in the pipeline
  • Rank and prioritize projects based on customer requirements, available resources, urgency, and other variables
  • Balance and re-balance the project portfolio to resolve conflicting demands
  • Identify high profile projects, accounts and customers (a.k.a. “lighthouse projects”) and use them as a benchmark to assess performance and risk
  • Streamline and optimize resource utilization and allocation
  • Standardize project execution processes in order to improve quality, efficiency, performance and results
  • Manage change across the entire organization and ensure that threats are minimized and opportunities exploited
  • Integrate with other best-in-class solutions in the environment to drive visibility and transparency
Clarizen: Up to the Portfolio Management Challenge

In addition to its award-winning project management capacity, Clarizen delivers all of the above features and advantages via the cloud. It not only rapidly makes portfolio management an enterprise strength and competitive advantage, but just as importantly, it enables project managers in charge of the portfolio – whether they chose to be there, or were thrust into the spotlight – to step up and save the day….yet again. Learn more through a free 30-day test drive.

David Goulden
David is a Product Director in Clarizen's Solutions Team. With over 15 years of experience working with startup technology teams and their customers, he joined Clarizen several years ago in the Customer Success team working with some of Clarizen's largest companies in the media, IT and financial services industries and authored some of Clarizen's most popular apps. David currently owns Clarizen's IT use case initiative and is responsible for taking Clarizen's Apps Marketplace to the next level. David has an MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from London School of Economics.