But let me start this story at the beginning. Last week I attended my first professional networking event for the year, a meeting of the local chapter of the Project Management Institute. The subject of the presentation was the UK Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model (known as P3M3).
I was keen to to attend this session for three reasons;
- We do not use the 3P’s well in the risk/resilience/continuity space
- P3M3 is a form of measurement, one of my key focus areas in 2011
- Not often enough do we find professional bodies (especially those who make money out of training and certification) promoting the work of competing Training/Certification companies.
- In this case the US-centric PMI exploring the UK-centric P3M3 model. Shame there is not more of it!
I came away more convinced of the need to get the 3 x P concepts clear, and that it is we really important to understand the role each of these play in your risk/resilience/BC initiatives.
Portfolio Management is the top level activity. This activity is concerned with the investments in the changes required to achieve strategic objectives. It will focus on the effective balance between the organisations change and “Business as Usual” (BAU) activities. Some would state these as decisions between “Run the Business” and “Change the Business”.
Portfolio thinking needs to take a long-term view and is focussed on ensuring that we ‘do the right projects’. Project Management (a much lower level activity) is about doing the project right.
Is resilience/continuity a feature of portfolio decisions at your company?
Portfolio decisions are about top-level strategic investments – if you do not have a clearly articulated top-level objective to build/improve resilience, then it is not going to happen.
Programme Management (I shall stick with the UK spelling) is about delivering OUTCOMES – projects deliver outputs (or discrete chunks of change). Again a multi-year view needs to be applied.
A Programme is a temporary organisation that is established to oversee the implementation of a set of related projects. A change programme may wrap a bunch of initiatives like cultural change or training around the specific deliverables from the individual projects within the programme. In this way the change outcome becomes more than just the sum of the deliverables from the various projects.
I do not think you should use the term program(me) unless you are planning for deliver over a multi-year window. And unless you are co-ordinating a range of initiatives across the various silos of your enterprise.
If your activities are covered by the “Run the Business” funding decisions – then you are not in the change space.
Building and improving resilience requires a commitment to change – and the endorsement of this as a strategic outcome.
Portfolio is about the decision making process, mainly as it relates to our investment decisions. The beauty of this approach is that you can apply it at different levels of the organisation, and we can even apply the principles within our BAU activities – if we are taking the long-term view.
These are legitimate alternative investment decisions.
As you look at a multi-year change (or BAU) programme, the portfolio mix from year-to-year is likely to change.
Portfolios, Programmes and Projects all need an appropriate support/enabling office to be established to make these work, but that is a story for another day.
Portfolio is the bit we do not do well enough. It is part of establishing the critical link between resilience and strategic decision making.
It is a driver of change – change to meet strategic objectives.
More importantly it forces us to take the long view – to see beyond this year’s compliance activities.
Are you using any or all of the 3P’s at your enterprise?