Portfolio Project Management, or PPM for short, is the technique of analyzing costs, strategies, and risks involved in company affairs. Managing and overseeing projects properly allows business to slowly expand and improve their strategies, as analysis shows what is essential and what you can get rid of. Medium-to-large-sized companies must utilize multiple methods and thorough cooperation in order to expand their business as well as maximizing their profits.
Cutting Costs, Not Corners
Overseeing and managing costs is crucial to any business but this can be very difficult for a lot of businesses to manage it properly. Minimizing costs while still turning up positive profits is practically an art form within itself. For the bigger picture, executives need to separate two concepts: needs and wants. The line between these two concepts is very thin but both must be analyzed by a business very carefully. For an example of expenses before projects, let’s say you are currently paying $2,000 a month for your office space. With a lot of extra room, you learn there are cheaper ones available in the building. Sure, the one you have now is nice, but saving $500 a month turns into $6,000 saved in a year. Or, for another example, let’s say your company does IT consulting and they need a cabling job done. You could install CAT5, which is cheaper but slower cabling or install CAT6. The latter is much faster, and, subsequently, more expensive.
Now, in this case, it’s collaborating with your teammates and having to analyze which would be cheaper in the long run, not the short one. While CAT5 would save you and the customer a lot of money, but as it is not future proof, they will more than likely not achieve desired speeds. If it ends up not working for them, you may have to return and scrap all of your work for nothing. CAT6 may have a much higher cost initially, but it will prove to be a more cost-effective solution in the long run. This is why it is crucial to demonstrate your leadership skills through discussing the options and analysis with your team. Using graphs as you go will give you a visual of your financial data so that you can see exactly what you are losing or saving.
Prioritizing and Planning
As your organization expands more rapidly, it can become quite a daunting task to keep track of all of the projects in front of you. As this happens, being able to delegate tasks to other members of your team is crucial for your success. Work closely with your team to determine how you can meet the individual needs of each client. This will give you an idea of what your priorities need to be. Having visual aids here can make these managing these projects a much easier task. Create a calendar of with such information as the labor needed, due dates, and so on. Work with your team to create a plan that will help meet your deadlines in an efficient manner. Some tasks may require more hands than others, so keep this in mind when assigning tasks. These are things that will make managing every project infinitely easier.
Analyzing and Mitigating Risks
While risks can never be eliminated, they can be drastically minimized through proper analysis and collaboration. During the process of the project being executed, as well as after completion, these are things that are crucial to reducing the risks of things going wrong. Take an environment with IT consulting and engineering, for an example here: software. It is a field that constantly evolves, and therefore opens a whole plethora of possible risks for those who don’t evolve with it. No piece of software or hardware is supported indefinitely, and this must always be remediated before the expiration happens. Truth be told, minimalizing risks really is as easy as it sounds: consistent and thoughtful discussions to remember what can be at risk, and how to soften the blow if one is exploited.
You may find the paperwork to be on the tedious side; however, it must be done to keep proper records of everything. The more tasks and events you keep records of, the more you can project cash flow and reduce risks. Hold onto records of everything ranging from invoices, technical writings, earnings, and everything else in between. Also, ensure that they are periodically evaluated for feedback on possible improvements. Of course, this can all be pointless if the information is not managed and organized efficiently and be sure to keep it organized with multiple copies stored somewhere safe. Proper documentation is essential to staying on top of projects and remediating future endeavors.
Raising the Bar
Proper paperwork, analysis, and planning are all efficient strategies in maintaining multiple projects at once. However, if high expectations are not set in place, this may mean nothing. Setting high standards helps ensure proficient employee workflow and can help minimize issues during the process of a job. This means that clear communication is also needed and employees must be encouraged to ask questions if not entirely sure about your expectations. Creating high standards and encouraging the act of asking questions drastically reduces the chance of an incident occurring during a project.
Putting it all Together
As your business grows, it is important to establish guidelines and strategies early on that will make managing multiple projects as efficient as possible. Use analysis to see where costs can be cut, but remember to prioritize what your company actually needs. Budget and graph out expenses to find out what can be reduced and how much you can save. Prioritize and plan all of your projects accordingly to get them done in a timely fashion with the high-quality that your clients expect. Discuss possible risks with your team to determine what to do to minimize them from occurring. Always believe that you can never have too much documentation, but make sure to organize it properly and keep backups of your records. These things, along with high expectations of yourself and your employees, the task of managing multiple projects will seem like a breeze.
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