Project Portfolio Excellence vs. Project Portfolio Management
If you're familiar with Project Portfolio Management (PPM) you may be wondering how PPE and PPM are similar and how they are different. There's a very simple distinction between the two. PPM assumes that you already have a mature project management process in place, meaning that your processes are standardized and consistent. In other words:
If you can’t succeed with project management you won’t succeed with portfolio management! (PPE Truth #18)
PPE, on the other hand, assumes that you're not currently getting consistent and satisfactory results with your projects. This assumption is made because the vast majority or organizations aren't getting the results they want. PPE was developed specifically because the accepted standards for project, program, and portfolio management have failed to achieve their purpose. They look great on paper but they don't pass the test of reality.
Because Project Portfolio Management demands sound project lifecycle processes, it's not of much value for organizations that haven't yet achieved that level of maturity. In fact, when an organization attempts to implement PPM before they're ready, they may end up with just another source of frustration and confusion.
The only prerequisites for PPE are that you're tired of not getting expected benefits and value from your enterprise software and software-related projects, and you're ready to do something about it. No matter where your organization stands today in terms of capability PPE can help you to improve your results... immediately! If your processes are not solid, The Project Triad, The Project Trinity, The Logical Lifecycle, The Contract for Collaboration, and Project Request and Fulfillment Planning are the tools, strategy, and methodology that will take your organization from inept to adept. However, there's one important thing that you have to accept:
Project Portfolio Excellence provides the tools, the strategy, and the methodology for improvement. It can’t provide the discipline. (PPE Truth #91)
As with any other continuous improvement process Project Portfolio Excellence requires perseverance and diligence. Printing some posters and handing out T-shirts won't make it happen or keep it going. If you're going to take the step toward Project Portfolio Excellence you need to burn the bridges behind you, so you won't be tempted to revert to old methods, even when they seem like they'll be profitable in the short term.
You can give a man a fish, or you can teach a man to fish, but you can't make a man fish. (PPE Truth #102)
You and your organization will have to provide the will to fish.