Have you ever had a painting or photograph that needed to be framed?
Whether you took it to a framing store or Ikea, you probably noticed that there are a lot of options to choose from. You might have been purposeful in your selection, considering context and lifespan. Or you might have just grabbed whatever looked best.
Regardless of your intent, a bad frame makes your artwork look dull and a good frame breathes life into it.
The perfect frame elevates. It adds light, bring depth and perspective. It complements and enhances. It can influence the mood: create drama or fun.
When it comes to project management, most people know that it is the project manager’s role to take an initiative from point A to point B. They also know that the well-documented science of projects requires schedules, budgets, resources etc and quite a bit of artistry.
If you take a moment to think about the projects that you run within your business, what sort of picture do you see?
Is it simple and linear, with an abundance of white space stretching out to the edges of the frame? Does it provide clarity to the true point of focus – in this instance, the projects.
Or is the picture messy and chaotic, with no white space? The reality for many growing businesses, is that while their eyes may be on a bigger prize it is hard to see the road ahead. So they send multiple people off in different directions. Regardless of how well equipped they are individually for their path, someone still needs to manage the supply route. Will they have enough resources? Will the paths cross? What if there is a roadblock? Are they heading in the right direction?
Now add in your frame.
If a frame is meant to encapsulate the picture – to enhance it, make it easier to see or to protect it – how are you doing this for your projects? What structure do you have in place?
A project portfolio management mindset does more than take you from point A to point B. It offers a different frame of reference that allows you to see the individual components and how they contribute to the whole. When you have this perspective, you can step back for a moment and look critically at your artwork.
If, in this moment, you find yourself in synergistic alignment in your business universe, I congratulate you!
But in all likelihood, you find yourself staring at one of the following top 3 challenges that I can help you with right now:
1. Vision in a Bubble.
The organization’s compass is set by the people at the top and only they truly know where the company is headed. Communicate the strategy broadly! You’ll empower your team to work with you to push the company forward rather creating a pull as you stride ahead with them on your coat tails.
2. The Mix Is Out of Balance.
If you were investing your own money, you wouldn’t just run with one strategy. Instead, you would look for a healthy mix that would take you towards your long-term lifestyle goals while living the life you want now. The same should be true of the projects you take on. A mix of high-risk, low-risk, client-facing, internal, new markets and know markets, new products and current offerings will not only bring balance to your portfolio but keep your staff motivated.
3. Perplexing Priorities.
Even when you’re crystal clear on your objectives, things change. The market changes unexpectedly, a competitor does something that requires an immediate response, clients warm up and cool down. Whether you’re well-positioned to respond swiftly to these sorts of changes or not, the first step is to be absolutely clear about priorities. Having agreed priorities that you shared with your team not only helps you to respond more effectively and efficiently when things do change but enable your team to make choices about how they spend their time that is more closely aligned with your expectations.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Wayne Dyer
I hope these tips help you take a step towards a creating a more balanced picture for your business. Now, over to you.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear what changes you’ll make in response to these tips.
And if you love this, please share it with your friends!