Project portfolio management is part of change management

Implementing changes thoroughly requires good planning, execution, staff coaching and communications, and often other processes and tools as well. Well-implemented change is not an incredible solo act; it requires extensive cooperation throughout the organization, where everyone has a role to play.

The management is responsible for enabling changes and eliminating obstacles to development. Top and middle management tasks are vital in providing support for practical measures. Interest groups are also important, and we should also see the changes from the perspective of our customers.

If the changes are meant to produce additional value and benefits to the customer, it is essential to communicate this through all available channels to the customers. Internal communication plays a key role, and is known to almost always pose one of the most significant challenges.

Change is always multi-layered; when we change processes, product specifications or implementation methods of a service, we also change the way our staff thinks. Change is one of the most challenging and risky elements for an organization.

Tools should be utilized as quickly as possible during change

We have grown accustomed to having our working appliances help us reach a meeting on time, approve invoices or recognize projects that do not support the company strategy, or whose business case is out of date. This is commonplace to nearly all working communities. Tools should be implemented early in the change process, so that their advantageous functions can be utilized in supporting better, quality practices and thereby enabling the company to be successful.

If the tools are not conducive to the organization’s efforts, the staff tends to resort to their own Excel or PowerPoint software. If the staff is not provided sufficient information on organizational changes, they will communicate via e-mails, hold unofficial meetings and take other measures to stay up to date on matters. In a worst-case scenario, this happens too late or with false information.

Successful change requires the right tool

Tools are not the be-all and end-all of success; an organization also needs know-how and operating models. However, significant development and change processes cannot be solely based on know-how and operating models. Tools should be implemented early enough, so that staff can learn to use them correctly. Tools provide cohesion to operating models, thus supporting success in a multi-layered and ever-evolving business environment, regardless of whether the organization operates in multi-national business or public sector.

Good project portfolio management practices are not rocket science

It should be clarified that good tools do not require days or weeks of training and constant use. The best solutions are often the ones that are the most simple to use and easy to understand; today’s tools are expected to be intuitive, not requiring advanced training. The best tools today are more like services that guide users through various activities, facilitating work and saving precious time, which will ultimately benefit the end-customers of the organization.

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