1. Cut the reporting periods
An accurate daily status snapshot is critical when quick decisions are needed. Cutting the reporting periods of projects in half will result to twice a week or even on a weekly basis reporting – and decision making – cycle.
2. Communicate to the whole organisation
Communication to the whole organisation is a key issue. Your Portfolio can be opened to the entire staff or at least to all the key stakeholders. This may also increase the awareness of the portfolio and its importance in your organization.
3. Re-prioritize according to the new situation and resources
Each project should be re-prioritised after the outbreak of epidemic as the prioritisation made earlier is not based on the possible profits and risks of the current moment. Prioritisation will be carried out on the Portfolio level, which means that the prioritisation will not be affected when the ratio of output/input/risk appears in real time. When the status snapshot changes rapidly, items that need to be prioritised must all be updated to the same moment and status overview
4. Update the Budget and Business Case to match the current situation
If a project has been set up before the outbreak of the epidemic, it is likely that its budget and cost-benefit calculation do not match the current situation. The Business Cases of selected projects should also be updated according to the current situation. If it is no longer possible to determine any impact or a financial business case for a project, it may be reasonable to make a decision to cancel the project if it is not vital or legally binding.
5. Define Dashboards and Reports for different crisis management and control forums
Now is a good time to select the critical reports and the reports by which the development and trend will be monitored.
6. Make sure the Dependency maps are in place
Dependency maps provide an important overview to the impact of control actions and decisions. For example, when half of the projects are cancelled or suspended and the rest are carried out according to plan, if there is no status snapshot of the dependencies, a project vital for the organisation may be cancelled.
7. Focus on Cash Flow Management
The cash flow management is an extremely important aspect in this situation. The need for financing will be understood through actual and planned budgets. It is important to identify the projects originally financed by cash flow, which has to be cancelled, and which will be still carried out. Is it possible to change the scope or definition of the project or does the project need to be cancelled in this situation and/or to what extent can it be postponed?
8. Ensure the business continuity with funders
Funding reports reveal the funders with whom negotiations must be continued to ensure the business continuity. By indentifying all the actions based on the same funding source, it is possible to share the status overview to a particular funder faster. Merging projects or expediting financing programs can be agreed on with the funder in order to secure the continuity of business activities.
9. Mitigate your realised risks
Risk Management is a key when almost all possible risks seem to have realised. The probabilities and impact of risks are now different for many projects. The risks should be updated. First, it is necessary to understand the risks related to the project and the risks which are linked to the outcome of the project. It may well be that when the project risks become a reality, it becomes clear that the project should be cancelled even though financing and resources still exist for the project.
Managing Partner, Senior Portfolio Advisor, CGEIT, CISA, CRISC, yMBA
Tel. +358 40 733 6670
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