The troubled global economy has forced companies big and small to reevaluate their project portfolios, zeroing in on those projects that bring real value and cutting everything else. “Companies aren’t just slashing the top 25 percent [of their portfolios], they want to cut right 25 percent—trimming the fat and focusing their emphasis on projects that support the business more efficiently,” says Margo Visitacion, analyst with Forrester Research, Marlton, New Jersey, USA.
The global recession and how to cope with it will inevitably dictate the business and IT agendas during 2009. While the general consensus is that IT budgets are likely to remain relatively flat overall, circumstances will vary from industry to industry, with sectors such as financial services and travel being hardest hit. Government and utilities will see investment remain relatively buoyant.
We normally define project failure in terms of time, money and specification. A typical end-of-project report will state that the project was late, cost too much or failed to meet the users’ requirements. The National Audit Office reports on public sector projects that fail to meet these criteria.
Every organization wants to effectively execute strategies, but many struggle to implement a process for doing so. This struggle is one reason that the Balanced Scorecard has had such a wide following and impact on business. Simply put, the BSC emphasizes the linkage of measurement to strategy. For the first time, the details of the project portfolio (what the Balanced Scorecard creators call “strategic initiatives”) become important to a company’s strategic thinkers. Companies that have implemented this model have seen measurable bottom line successes, according to research by Scorecard creators Kaplan and Norton.
PMI’s second edition of a portfolio management standard shows its author group’s solid understanding of this complex domain. Although the standard is moving in the right direction, readers will want some content in greater depth and find some necessary content is missing.
Gartner clients have signaled several areas of risk and uncertainty around application projects and resource constraints, which our portfolio management research will address through 2009.