On a cold, dark, January night, more that 30 members and guests joined APM North West Committee members at the University of Chester to not only listen to, but also actively contribute to, an interesting exchange of views and ideas on how projects could, and ideally should, be measured.
The presentation and discussion, given by Mike Ward of Outperform, centred around a variety of different models that assist how the value of projects in a portfolio can be evaluated and represented to aid understanding of where they contribute to the strategic goals of an organisation. Furthermore, they also inevitably highlighted where projects may not fit within the strategy (typical pet projects) or perhaps where the delivery timetable does not align to other strategic initiatives. These challenges exist regardless of industry sector, or whether it is a private, public or not-for-profit company.
By reviewing metrics such as delivery cost, benefits expected, resources required, risks envisaged, or some other combination of key project data, more objective decision-making regarding the project investment can be made, rather than the emotional-style of you cant stop this project its mandatory! The message came across loud and clear; to have any sort of effective prioritisation you must first understand the business objectives and their associated measures along with the true status of the projects in the portfolio. Alongside the correct measures, a strong decision making culture and structure needs to be in place to ensure that the appropriate projects are started or progressed and that those not adding the required level of value are rejected or cancelled.
Mikes presentation was thought provoking and drew comments from delegates such as that this was a good starting point for considering metrics in more depth, a very interesting topic.
If you want to see Mike's presentation please click on the link below