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The reasoning behind the sequencing of the Project Portfolio is, in our experience, rarely shared with the wider organisation and almost never with the personnel responsible for the delivery of the actual projects. We feel this is an opportunity missed. We recently worked with a large financial institution that had a full, in fact bulging, portfolio of projects. It had a lot of work to deliver in one financial year. However, it was imperative that one significant project had to be delivered first. It was a mandatory project for the purposes of BASEL II.

BASEL II involved rules and alterations to banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The client bank had to deliver the changes in a defined period or the bank was in trouble. So, agile techniques were ideal for this type of project as they are designed for fixed end date projects.

The project personnel were simply told the project had to be delivered on time and that was it. The information we feel was missed however, was the fact that if this project did not deliver the bank would loose its licence to trade and the whole banks operations were in jeopardy. This is really important concentration-fixing information that would help team motivation, markedly.

We also worked with an insurance company who had a similarly focusing project. The largest project of the year was a new insurance product. This was a product already established in the general insurance marketplace but, here is the important information, it was established by our clients competitors and the competitors were making money hand over fist. Our client needed some of the action and fast. Its project portfolio delivery costs were three times the value of its project portfolio budget. So either money had to come into the organisation or the portfolio was going to be severely cut back.

This is again motivational communications for your project personnel. We suggested they print posters and pop them all round the project delivery and meeting rooms with a slogan which represented the delivery importance and the overall dependency for the continuation of project delivery on the financial payback from this one important project. do not worry, it delivered and delivered well for the insurance organisation.
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