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Manage   »   Portfolio   »   Building Your Pipeline

So we have a Project Portfolio which describes the whole of our project terrain, everything. But we are all normal organisations and cannot do everything. What we need are a set of projects in a defined portfolio that can be realistically delivered by your organisation in a specified time.

We assess the capability of the organisation in terms of finance and human resource of course but we also have options to apply or withdraw these resources at unique levels or in different quantities.

For this we model the various scenarios involved in applying or withdrawing resources thus providing us with commercial options to consider, assessing the relative benefits of deploying one delivery option over another.

For this, we go to your project board or equivalent. These are the people who manage the whole project real estate for your organisation and manage demand for change. Typically they receive requests for business change and request or delegate summary study of the proposed changes to evaluate risks and benefits.

The rejected requests get returned to the business with comments about risks and benefits so that they may be re-evaluated and resubmitted at a later date.

The requests go into project pipeline management and the delivery options are assessed for their relative benefit to the organisation in consideration of the amount of risk involved and the level of costs they will demand. We appreciate that the business team themselves may make this call and a lot depends on the organisational structure and lines of management or departmental responsibility within your organisation. For the purposes of simplicity and for the purposes of the Toolkit, we assume that the Change Board make the assessment of delivery options.

In the diagram we provide on the topic of project portfolio management we demonstrate three of the assessment criteria: costs, risks and benefits. Of course, your organisation may elect to establish and assess many more criteria. However the central concept of delivery options and assessment of the delivery options is identical.

In the diagram we present the example of Delivery Option One. Here the costs are relatively small in relation to the other options. This might be our primary driver: the lowest cost project. Our decision may be complete at this point. We are happy this is going to deliver some benefits and these benefits are modelled to be almost identical in size to the costs we need to invest; so we will reach break even on the project. Our management of this part of the pipeline is complete and this change proposal is progressed to approved status.

In the diagram we also present examples for other Delivery Options as costs are gradually increased. The risk profiles of the various options alter however the benefits realised alter also. This is the call your organisation needs to make to decide the costs or investment it is willing to make considering the risk reduction and payback strategy it prefers.

Whatever your chosen strategy, all successful requests go into the project pipeline.


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