From successful project to successful project portfolio: Improving performance through Multi-Project Management Benchmark
Making one project successful can be hard, making a portfolio of projects deliver strategic benefits is much harder. That is the goal of project portfolio management. However, project portfolio practices are hard to implement, and highly immature in most companies (BCG, 2015). How can we improve project portfolio practice? Which of the practices in project portfolio management are most suitable to my kind of organization?
In an attempt to contribute to addressing these questions, DTU and PMI volunteers, in particular, Alvaro Buxens, Ram Pattiwar and Zeeshan Maqbool are supporting the deployment of the 8th International Benchmark Study on Multi-Project Management first launch in Denmark.
In this short piece, we will describe the purpose of the benchmark, the status of the project, and how can you engage and learn more about the results.
The Benchmark builds on an extensive learning. Indeed, “for more than ten years, the research group Multi-Project Management (MPM), initiated by the professors Hans Georg Gemünden (Norwegian Business School, former TU Berlin) and Alexander Kock (TU Darmstadt), evaluated best practices and success factors in project portfolio management through benchmarking studies. In the past seven study waves, more than 600 companies have participated, with a common portfolio value of more than € 150 billion. The analysis of more than 70,000 detailed answers culminated date in more than 30 scientific publications and eight successful dissertations. The analysis paves the way for efficient and effective multi project management.” (MPM Website, the figure on the right provides an overview of key facts)
This year, the Benchmark study is developed in collaboration between Technical University of Darmstadt, Technical University of Denmark (DTU, Denmark, University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) and ZHAW Winterthur (Switzerland). In addition to measuring performance on established success factors, the 2017 MPM survey will explore the influence of digitization, big data and the use of visual displays of data on modern MPM.
At the core of the Benchmark is the reconciliation between research and practice.
The Benchmark is attractive to practitioners, as it offers an individualized report to each participating company with the following information:
- Identification and display of “best practices”
- Comparison between Top and Low Performers
- Description of current trends and developments in multi-project management
- Comparison and interpretation of the results with previous studies
- Analysis of success factors across all phases of project portfolio management
For academics, it provides data on a large number of organizations. This allows academics to:
Advance theory in the area of multi-project management
Understand key challenges of multi-project management
Progress so far
The research project was launched in January 2017. The first phase included the theoretical development, and development of new questions to complement the core of the benchmark focused on measuring PPM performance. The development was driven by academics, and the new questions were pilot by the PMI volunteers. The second phase of the project involved contacting multi-project organizations. As of end of August 379 project managers, 124 PMO leaders and 119 decision makers completed the Benchmark across all four countries. The data is now being analysed and the individual report compiled.
How to engage and learn about the results
If your organization would like to participate in the Benchmark, you will need to hurry. The deadline for submission of the questionnaires is the 30th September (already extended for another 10 days only to you, PMI Denmark!).
Another form of engaging is to participate in the seminar on the 3rd of November, at 17:00 at DTU on Multi-Project Management. The seminar is part of the series ‘Science meets Practice’ developed in collaboration between PMI and DTU ProjectLab.