Podcast 99 – Project Portfolio Management

Podcast 99 – Project Portfolio Management

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Let’s talk about Project Portfolio Management

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks to Michael Hannan, the founder and principal consultant at Fortezza Consulting, about Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Michael is a board member of the PMI Washington DC chapter. He started in PPM at NASA in the 1990s working on the International Space Station and High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) programs. He has nearly 25 years’ experience as a consulting executive, IT project portfolio and program manager, process engineer and software architect.

Fortezza Consulting, founded in 2013, helps organisations improve the performance of their IT project portfolios. Its clients have included Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, Intel, Daimler, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the State of Utah.


Points raised in this podcast:

  • When a project manager comes across a problem that seems outside of their control, it may often mean there is a problem at the portfolio level with how the wider organisation is managing projects that makes individual projects less likely to succeed.
  • Organisations often kick off too many projects at once, creating metaphorical traffic jams. This can cause project managers and team members to feel like they are either being overwhelmed with tasks or even slowed down by competing priorities or a lack of resources.
  • When projects are staggered and given dedicated resources in ample quantities, costs are reduced and a greater volume of projects can be completed.
  • When project managers turn off email and phones and other distractions for a set number of hours of single-task focused work, productivity is increased dramatically.
  • The global impact of Project Portfolio Management on human kind is often underestimated.
  • Project managers are taught to work within a triple-constraint model with fixed budget, schedule and scope, but organisations should consider whether increased flexibility would allow better project outcomes.

Michael is the lead author of The CIO’s Guide to Breakthrough Project Portfolio Performance, which you can find here.


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