Time for a change: Project Portfolio Management with Kairos Software
Working as a project manager in IT-projects for many years, I am with my feet in the ground. Starting with Excel, PowerPoint and MS Projects to make the proposal with project planning and work breakdown structure went smoothly and was very flexible. Again using Excel to keep track of progress, periodically estimating percentage of completion and to create a forecast of the projected end-result to inform internal and external stakeholders.
Hours were entered in the time and billing system by week to create an invoice during the monthly close. When changes occurred a lot of manual work was needed to adjust project planning and reporting. For each new project a folder was created on a shared drive to store all documents and spreadsheets used for planning and reporting of that particular project. And this was all at the individual project level. Sounds familiar?
Being responsible for various projects and resources, including subcontractors, complexity was growing. An aggregated view was missing of all project results compared to project progress based on milestones and deliverables. An aggregated view of available internal resources and time spent from all resources was available in a spreadsheet and from the time & billing system.
How do you know when it is time for a change?
Are some of your challenges looking like this concerning:
• Complaints – of staff and customers are increasing.
• Misalignment – handover of projects and collaboration is insufficient.
• Resource allocation – better allocation is required to improve profitability.
• Lack of flexibility – too difficult or expensive to enable new initiatives or make changes.
• Information – not timely enough or “duelling spreadsheets” and inconsistent information.
• Stand-alone applications – and additional spreadsheets with manual error-prone work causing delays.
• Minimal Vendor Support – vendor support has been minimized almost down to zero and the only option is expensive 3rd party consultants.
• Lack of Product Roadmap – no future development planned, no innovation and no improvements will be made.
How to do Project Portfolio Management the right way?
What I missed all the time was the ability to have an integrated project planning and control process from creating the business case to the project planning and invoicing, where I could reuse in an easy way defined standards from a catalogue. Moreover, the ability to have all planning, realization and capacity in one system at an aggregated level would have made my working-life as a project manager much more easier. After my company was acquired, requests for management information about all projects including a weekly forecast resulted in additional work for all project managers and accounting staff. If I had the right system all managers could look for the required information themselves real time.
A next step in Project Portfolio Management with Kairos Software
I have used my project management experience to see what makes the life of project managers easier and also for the project owners. Project owners don’t like surprises when asking for more money, time or scope creep.
With an integrated solution for all project phases and processes, including the financial view, my life would have been easier and also secured a constant high quality level in managing the project and informing all stakeholders.