Managing your organization’s portfolio of upcoming projects while also planning and executing the current batch of initiatives is a challenge. Hectic workloads sometimes lead PMs to avoid involving their executive team in portfolio management activities simply because it seems like yet another layer of complexity in an already packed schedule.
But leaving your senior staff out of portfolio management exercises—reviewing priorities, assessing ROI, evaluating risks, understanding resource limitations, analyzing past performance, and identifying opportunities to achieve better results in the future—can be a big mistake. Your team and your executive group both stand to miss out on important benefits.
If you’re wary of bringing your company’s C-suite into the project management process, consider these top reasons their participation can deliver big rewards.
1 – Build your project team’s credibility. Executives involved in the portfolio management process have greater confidence in the information they receive from the project team. Why? A robust portfolio management methodology is driven by accurate, reliable data, and also includes next-level tools that enable decision makers to access relevant portfolio statistics on demand. When senior staff know that project stakeholders are working off the same single master source of information across the firm’s entire portfolio, their confidence in the team’s ability to drive each project to a successful completion increases.
2 – Focus on the most valuable projects first. Juggling multiple initiatives is more difficult if you haven’t reached a consensus with the executive group on which efforts are most important and which should be addressed later. Without an agreement on priorities, you may put time and energy into efforts that are eventually postponed, de-scoped, or canceled outright. Bring the senior staff into discussions on your portfolio’s top priorities so your team knows they’re focusing resources on the projects that will deliver the most valuable results.
3 – Receive assistance with high-level challenges. Your leadership team should be aware of at-risk projects and any high-priority efforts that stand to be negatively affected by pending delays, cost overruns, resource conflicts, or other issues. Executives can’t fix problems if they don’t know about them, and there will be times you’ll need their influence to clear roadblocks and secure cooperation from key stakeholders. Ensuring your senior staff knows about issues within your portfolio is key to resolving complex challenges.
4 – Continuously improve your team’s performance. A C-suite that participates in portfolio reviews and helps set priorities is more likely to be on board with ensuring that project performance metrics are gathered, analyzed, and improved at every opportunity. If your team wants support as they strive to achieve better results with each new project, then involving your executives will help those efforts tremendously.
5 – Eliminate low-value projects. When the senior leadership has visibility into the full scope of your organization’s portfolio, they’ll better understand which initiatives align with the company’s strategic objectives and which do not. This awareness helps identify projects that are too low in value to pursue any further. Your team can then eliminate these bottom-tier efforts from consideration, ensuring you don’t waste time continuously reassessing potential projects that won’t ever move forward.
6 – Increase resource management efficiency across all projects. Few companies have the horsepower to bring every initiative to a successful completion but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Unfortunately, when resources are limited, the truly important projects suffer from shortages that diminish the quality of their results and chip away at their ROI. When executives are familiar with the company’s entire portfolio—rather than only the few projects most relevant to their areas of responsibility—they’ll make better strategic choices about balancing resource needs across multiple initiatives.