Thinking Out of the Box in Project Portfolio Management

Administrative skills are vital to the success of any project. Organizing tasks, selecting teams, planning the execution, and getting the project underway are the primary functions which help deliver expected outcomes.

The project manager, who is usually the driving force behind any project, needs to ensure every step of the project is going as per the schedule and stays within the allocated budget.

Any hitch or hold up and the manager will face the heat. To ensure a successful delivery of the project, the manager should have control, either directly or indirectly, over all the resources working on it.

Unfortunately, the global spread of many organizations makes it difficult for project managers to manage teams directly. The traditional methods of managing a project do not work mainly due to differences in time, working styles, and nature of the job. If the project manager still opts for traditional portfolio management, it won’t be long before cracks start appearing in the project.

Thinking out of the box can lead to successful portfolio management

“Thinking out of the box” may sound cliched and dated, but it is the most important skill you should have to drive innovation. Traditional thinking is a box you create for yourself. It relies on experience and protocols which provide you with a level of confidence to tackle issues.

By thinking outside of it, you are stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on risks you may have never dealt with before. It helps you recognize cross-functionalities and connect with people who can get the job done.

Creative thinking is about going above and beyond the boundaries you’ve set for yourself and doing whatever it takes to achieve high results. You can influence peers, create ad hoc teams, evaluate and reevaluate priorities, and manage resources efficiently. Creative thinking flourishes in a permissive environment where the exchange of ideas is encouraged.

Along the way, you are sure to displease some people who may not agree with your working methods or are used to working in a traditional, authoritative way. The only way out is to ensure that creative thinking is inculcated into the culture and core values of the organization.

It is an important non-traditional skill every project manager, or for that matter, every team member should have. The ability to think creatively is not limited to multinational or million-dollar projects because the scale of a project does not determine its failure, the management does. So, an able project manager should think outside the box when unforeseen problems occur and resolve them through regular communication and collaboration.

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