Understanding Dynamic Project Relationships

Dynamic model showing the inherent project relationships and how a feedback loop binds project portfolio & scheduling management together.

Vagaries of Project Portfolio, Scheduling and Control

Project performance cannot be taken for granted, even for the best laid out plans. Consequently, ‘Project Portfolio Management’, ‘Advanced Planning & Scheduling’ and ‘Project Execution’ are dynamic and each requires constant vigilance.

Project portfolio ‘resource plans’ change as project size, effort and duration estimates become more refined during the project’s lifecycle, which intuitively has a bearing on time, cost and resource scheduling. This scenario becomes even more complicated when pipeline and baseline projects compete for resources from a shared resource pool.

Further, project execution inevitably succumbs to disturbances from both planned and unplanned events, the consequence of which need to be considered jointly at the portfolio and scheduling level. It is little wonder most organisations and project professionals find this dynamic overwhelming resulting in decisions to ‘throttle’ project throughput causing organisations to fall behind better organised competitors.

Dynamic Model: Project Portfolio, Scheduling and Control

While greatly simplified, this scenario makes practical sense since it reflects real-world experiences. Consequently, the inherent links between ‘Project Portfolio Management’, ‘Advanced Planning & Scheduling’ and ‘Project Execution’ is shown in the model below.

Dynamic Model: Feedback Loop Sustainability

This model when explored more thoroughly should feel familiar and reflects the inherent relationship between planning, execution and control at the portfolio and project level.

Importantly, it is the ‘Project Monitoring’ feedback loops to both ‘Project Portfolio Management’ and ‘Advanced Planning & Scheduling’ that allows project estimate changes and project execution disturbances to be jointly assessed, which allows either 1) appropriate corrective actions to be taken to recover a troubled project and to minimise changes to downstream portfolio plans, else 2) exploit opportunities to bring forward new project initiatives to increase portfolio delivery value.

Learn More

If you would like to know more about leveraging data-driven actionable insights for your project portfolio, then feel free to contact me on itierney@pminsight.com.au

About Ian: I have more than 20-years IT Project Portfolio experience spanning vendor, solutions integrator and customer side both for private and government organisations. I have worked for Motorola, Ericsson, Vodafone, Dimension Data and Fujitsu amongst others. I am the principal of pminsight, a boutique consultancy specialising in empowering project organisations and professionals with project data-driven insights.  

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