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Thursday, 28 July 2016 01:24

The Rules for Creating a Yearly Project Portfolio Roadmap

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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2016.27.7

The Rules for Creating a
Yearly Project Portfolio Roadmap

Portfolio management is a process that ensures the scarce resources of the organization are allocated to the work that is more important. There are two major components required to carry this out. First the management team completes a planning process to determine which work is most important. Second, the staffing managers ensure that the right resources are applied to execute the work as efficiently as possible.

Each year, staffing managers receive the list of projects that are approved for the coming year. These staffing managers then create a high-level schedule for the year that maps resources to the work. They don’t need to plan the work at the detailed hour-by-hour basis. They only need to keep track of the projects, the estimated number of resources required, the likely candidates to fill the openings, and the likely start date and end dates. The staffing process for projects looks something like this.

  • Carry Over Projects. These projects are in progress at the end of one fiscal year. For the most part, the staff in place at the end of the fiscal year will be the same staff in place at the beginning of the new year.
  • New projects. New projects must be slotted to start throughout the year based on the availability of resources and the dates that projects are due. From a scheduling perspective, keep the following items in mind.
    • Some projects have fixed start dates. These are staffed based on the start date.
    • Some projects have fixed end dates. The start date for these projects are flexible as long as the end date is met.
    • Slot the other projects based on priority and available staff. The best scenario is one where projects are winding down and releasing resources that can be immediately applied to new projects that are starting up.
    • Staff highest priority work first. All things being equal, you would like to have all of your highest priority projects started first. Of course, all things are not always equal - especially the skill mix required to start projects may not be available.
    • Make sure the customer is ready. There may be instances where you have the available resources to start projects, but a customer department  cannot support the necessary support at that time.
    • Avoid too much multi-tasking. It is not always possible to allocate people to only one major project at a time. Multitasking should be minimized so that each person is allocated to two projects or three maximum.
Establish Approved Work Schedule Baseline

When the staffing managers and the customers are in agreement on the overall project schedule, the baseline is set. Of course, the work schedule will change based on new projects that come up during the year and changes to existing projects. But these changes can now be managed proactively given the initial approved baseline work schedule.

At TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit or contact us at
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