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Linkages between single-project management capabilities and portfolio management efficiency John Constance MSc in Project Management, University

of Liverpool Abstract: The article Role of single-project management in achieving portfolio management efficiency by Miia Martinsuo and Paivi Lehtonen (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 56 65) looks at how single-project management have a say in project portfolio management efficiency. The article hypothesizes information availability, goal setting and systematic decision making contributes to portfolio management efficiency and reaching project goal does not contribute to portfolio management efficiency. According to Miia Martinsuo and Paivi Lehtonen, this results means project management efficiency has a mediating and direct role and Project Managers need to consider portfolio level issues as part of their capabilities and not to leave this to top management. Analysis The introduction provided sufficient definition of project portfolio management. According to the authors project portfolio management is a group of projects that share and compete for the same resources and are carried out under the sponsorship or management of an organization (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). This is also supported by definitions from Villanova University as the collections of projects managed by the same individual or organization (Advance Strategic Project Management Practices, Book 3 of 4, pp.325); Robert Wysocki as determining what types of projects can be incorporated in the portfolio, evaluating, and prioritizing proposed projects, constructing a balance portfolio that will achieve the investment objectives (Wysocki, 2009 pp. 536); and David I. Cleland and Lewis R. Ireland in their book Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation, 5th ed. 2006 defined project portfolio management as the alignment of projects with strategic goals and objectives for a more effective and efficient organization. The authors also examine portfolio management efficiency. They have no much existing studies to measure the efficiency of portfolio management. However they did a follow up on interview study by Cooper et al which showed that portfolio efficiency can be determined by estimating the degree to which the portfolio fulfils its objectives: strategic alignment, balance across projects, and value maximization. Robert Wysocki even took this further by considering a postimplementation audit were several questions asked when answered provides indicators on the portfolio management efficiency as regards the achievement of project goals and objectives, project work done in time, client satisfaction, explicit business value and the valuable use of lessons learned for the organizations next projects (Wysocki, 2009 pp.570). The authors also indicated through empirical studies the singe-project level factors that relate and possibly contribute to project portfolio management efficiency. These include project goals, information availability, systematic decision making, top management support, management by project type, standardization of PM, metrics and measurement, etc. These studies concluded with a strong support or evidence that of all the single-project level factors only setting of goals, availability of project related information to decision makers, and systematic project-related decision making relate to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). The authors verified the results by conducting a questionnaire survey targeting different industry and service companies under the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1. The degree to which projects have clearly specified goals is positively related to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 56 65). Hypothesis 2. Availability of information on single projects for decision makers is positively related to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). Hypothesis 3. Systematic decision making as part of the development process is positively related to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). Hypothesis 4. Reaching project goals is positively related to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). Hypothesis 5. Project management efficiency is positively related to portfolio management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). However, this survey was done in Finland alone and back in 2003, approximately eight years ago; and out of the 1105 companies questioned, only 288 responded. The questionnaire was send to development managers, development directors, quality managers, product development managers and not directly to project managers and top management executives who are directly involved in project portfolio management. Notwithstanding, the methodology used in testing the questionnaire and analysing the results respectively are detailed acceptably applications because those questioned are middle and top managers within private and public sector companies; and the variables used are all indicators used in previous studies. The authors results concluded that: single-project management is linked with portfolio management efficiency directly in the form of information availability and project management efficiency (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). single-project management is linked with portfolio management efficiency indirectly in the form of information availability, goal setting and decision making. (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). They also found project management efficiency as an important aspect between single-project issues and portfolio management efficiency. This result reflected similar responds from previous related surveys indicating the importance single-project management is with regards to portfolio management efficiency. The authors also concluded the need for project managers to be concerned with business interests beyond the single-project level, and the need for companies management to make project managers part and parcel in business management beyond the single-project and be aware of their responsibility towards the entire portfolio, and their competences sufficient. Conclusion Although the study was limited, done a long time ago and I believe questioned to the wrong group, I strongly agree single project does add efficiency of portfolio management. My support comes from my work experience. So far my project management has been for multi project

under a single program unlike, say, my country director, who manages several programs. However, having said that, I have seen the results of my single projects meet the satisfaction of clients who in turn make new request for additional works or projects, thereby promoting the organization strategic goal of achieving projects to clients satisfaction.

Having said that, what I do see missing is actually stressed is a key in the article. Company
management should pay more attention to how they build linkages between single-project

management capabilities and portfolio management efficiency in practice (International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 5665). I have struggled over the year getting to know my employers strategic goals and how I was to align this goal with my project management. However, having understood this factor, and seen how staff are motivated when they are aware of what they need to do in order to not only successfully complete a project, but to improve the companys overall plan and maybe get a promotion or loner-term employment, I strongly continue to demand from my employers full orientation of the link between my project and the organization strategic goals. This has in turn guided me as to what projects to recommend and what to reject. I think the link between single-project management and portfolio management is based on goal setting (project and organization), information available (project information and organization strategic plan) and decision making which is made based on goals, information available and strategic objective and goal. Through single projects organizations can satisfy clients thereby creating the opportunity to improve its program vis--vis portfolio and business value.
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Robert K. Wysocki, Effective Project Management Traditional, Agile, Extreme, 5th ed pp. 533-581 Advance Strategic Project Management Practices, Book 3 of 4, pp.325, www.villanovau.com Cleland and Lewis R. Ireland - Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation, 5th ed. 2006