QuestionQuestion

Instructions:
You have been successful in convincing executive management that your organisation should introduce a project portfolio management function and now that all the planning has been completed, you have been given the responsibility for its implementation. However, not everyone in the organisation is convinced that it is the right approach to take and you can already feel the forces of resistance starting to build from those who will be directly affected by its day-to-day operation.

You have determined that the status quo for managing projects in the organisation is not an option and will argue against it at every opportunity. The best way to convince your colleagues of the benefits of implementing project portfolio management is to review the processes and assess whether improvements to project selection, performance and success have been made, greater potential exists for aligning the business operations with strategic objectives, the benefits of enhanced portfolio management and evaluation to meet more complex needs are evident, and whether you think there is the potential for improving the maturity level of the organisation in project portfolio management in the future.

You recognise that during implementation, the changes created by the initiative have caused resistance from colleagues and that your assessment must be cognisant of the corporate culture in the organisation and include strategies to account for different perspectives from key stakeholders and any other adverse impacts this may cause. In responding to this ‘challenge’, you have decided to document your findings in a report that will be presented to executive management as part of the organisation’s annual review process which addresses the following requirements:

Situational Context
 Is the organisation investing in the right projects?
 Is the organisation optimising its capacity?
 How well is the organisation executing?
 Can the organisation absorb all the changes?
 Is the organisation realising the promised benefits?

Portfolio Evaluation
 What method is the organisation using to evaluate its overall project portfolio?
What is the justification of using the chosen method in comparison to some of the others that are available?
 Are there any challenges that the organisation might face in using the current method if it were to operate in a global environment?
 Is the benefits management lifecycle incorporated in the evaluation process?
 How might benefits management be helpful in successfully meeting the deliverable goals of the organisation’s projects?

Portfolio Management
 How is project portfolio management ensuring that the organisation’s collective projects are aligning with its strategic objectives?
 Has a Project Management Office been introduced into the organisation and, if so, has it played a role in terms of standardising practices and increasing project success rates? If not, why not? What alternative approaches are available?
 What quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques is the organisation currently using to manage its project portfolio and are they effective?

Maturity Levels
 At what maturity level do you believe the organisation is at in terms of its approach to project portfolio management?
 What are the key best practices which can be adopted to improve the maturity level and which model (e.g. PRINCE2, OPM3) do you think would be appropriate?
 How might you go about implementing this change and what assistance from the organisation would you require?

Corporate Culture
 Assess the corporate culture of the organisation and whether it is likely to be different in terms of key internal stakeholder influence and input (e.g. HR Director, Technology Manager, Facilities Manager, Accountant).
 Will any change management initiative in terms of project portfolio management process improvement and benefits realisation need to take into account the different perspectives of these stakeholders and what concerns might each stakeholder express?
 What aspects of the corporate culture do you think would support project portfolio management and its sustainability criteria?
 Are there any challenges involved in getting project portfolio management and its sustainability criteria embraced by the organisation?

In considering these requirements, be mindful of the differing views and staff perspectives on the benefits and potential outcomes and highlight key instances where the implementation of project portfolio management is having both positive and/or negative effects and how they should be addressed.

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Portfolio Management Implementation Report

Situational context
As it appears, Shell Petroleum Company is investing in the right projects. This is primarily so because the organisation is continuing to record reduced operation costs and improving productivity. One of the major projects is located at Appomattox and Vicksburg fields in the Gulf of Mexico. The company started the project in May 2019. The project encompasses a deep-water oil and gas development. According to Blackmon (2019), the project is performing exemplarily not only ahead of time but also within the stipulated budget. According to the reporter, the project has allowed Shell to reduce its unit development costs and unit operating costs by at least 45 percent. The reduction in costs is because of efficient drilling execution which has promoted shorter drilling durations. It has also helped Shell to optimize its sequencing schedule even better.

The reducing costs because of the project has played a significant role in heightening the firm’s profitability. The success of the project in Appomattox and Vicksburg fields shows Shell's emphasis on optimizing its capacity. The optimization model that Shell pursues is what PMI (2004) identifies as value engineering. Accordingly, this is a creative approach for optimizing the project life cycle costs in which the focus is saving time, improving quality, increasing costs, solving problems, and using resources more efficiently. Similarly, it is appropriate to claim that Shell optimises its capacity in a manner that corresponds with Kilford’s (2013) idea of delivering its projects in the right way, using the right people, every time. Such a strategic direction means that Shell is executing its projects in the right manner and that the firm realises the promised benefits. As supposed by Shell (2019), the project in the Appomattox and Vicksburg fields is the first commercial initiative in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico Norphlet formation.

What this means is that the project has delivered the promise made by Shell concerning being a major contributor to solving the most complex problems in the industry. The delivery of the project earlier than the schedule means that the customers are already enjoying the value created by the initiative in their life earlier than anticipated. Also, it means that Shell is meeting its promise to the shareholders with improved profitability. Therefore, the company is maximizing the shareholders’ value....

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