When it comes time to choose projects as part of a portfolio, consider selecting them based on the type of value they are going to deliver. A feed from Arras People by Lindsay Scott covers a series on the Changing Landscape of Project Management Life-Cycle Phases. In the article, Scott presents three exhibits that display the different ways in which project value can be categorized, assessed, and tracked.
First we are presented with a four-way “Category of Outcomes”. Scott notes that these categories are somewhat arbitrary, and can be reconfigured to fit a company’s strategic needs.
Financial: including marketing projects and other ways to find money for the company
Future: envisioning new products and services that may be of value in the long-term, such as breakthrough innovations or next-generation products
Internal: for achieving efficiency by lowering costs, eliminating waste, or improving management methodology
Customer-Based: furthering customer relations by supporting old contacts and building new relationships
Next, we are directed to a table showing which metrics are typically used to track specific values within the four macro categories listed above. For instance, under the category listed “Financial value”, tracking metrics are listed as Time, Cost, Scope, Quality, Amount of Waste, etc. These metrics are listed next to benefits and values such as Adherence to constraints, Scope, Number of resources, and so on. The point of making these comparisons is to show how individual projects can be tracked within each of the four major value categories.
3 Levels of Metrics: A Comparison
In a third example, Scott lays out three layers of metrics in a table that effectively demonstrates the overall variations among levels of project management. The categories are; Project Management (Micro Metrics), Traditional PMO (Macro Metrics), and Portfolio PMO (Macro). After reading Scott’s article, it becomes clear that utilizing the stated categories can help the PM to avoid mental clutter by defining which level of measurement is currently under analysis and by identifying how value at each level should be measured.