This month, our Chicago team relaunched their community of interest for senior PMO portfolio, product and program executives with a hybrid event focused on strategic capital planning and value or benefits realization. Here are some key insights from the gathering.
November 23, 2022, Naperville, IL — For over a decade, Centric Consulting’s Chicago team has hosted a community called “3PM” for decision-makers in the PMO delivery model space to discuss what is and isn’t working within high-performing PMOs. The group of execs gathers once each quarter for roundtable conversations and peer presentations focused on strategy, execution and innovation within the 3 P’s: PMO, portfolio and program delivery.
This quarter, the Chicago team decided the group needed an update to make it more all-encompassing of challenges its members face and added product-focused topics to the mix, renaming it to 4PM (PMO, Portfolio, Program and Product Delivery). To kick off version 2.0 of this long-standing network, a member hosted the hybrid relaunch event at their company’s offices in Naperville. Over 25 executives attended in person, and an additional 25 joined virtually.
Our Enterprise Portfolio and Program Management Service Offering Lead Cheryl Strait kicked things off by calling out some top project, program and portfolio management trends that we see across our client base:
- The remote workforce is negatively impacting collaboration and causing feelings of isolation, causing organizations to focus more on providing transparency and collaboration.
- The old way of focusing on documentation and distributing documents is no longer working – companies need to change their mindsets to focus on outcomes.
- There is a lot of interest in how companies are using AI to aid in intelligent curation right now.
Next, we dove into the topic at hand. One of our 4PM community members, who is the Director of Portfolio Management for a multinational, multibillion-dollar food manufacturer, walked us through her own strategic capital-planning journey and how her team shifted to business-led decision making to ensure the best-value projects were in their portfolio. Here are three key takeaways from her presentation:
- Collaborate business functions with IT to drive IT Investment planning and portfolio alignment – Incorporating business leaders into IT portfolio planning conversations drives enhanced cross-functional, top-down alignment on IT priorities and associated resource plans. There needs to be a common taxonomy established between the business and IT so that both sides can understand and support the plan.
- Set up investment planning to be adaptive and continuous – Businesses are changing faster than ever, driving the need for IT leaders to evaluate their portfolios of projects continuously. Planning should be continuous, agile and an enabler of those unplanned business changes.
- Ground prioritization in value contribution – Project value should be the primary driver of portfolio prioritization. To enable this conversation, IT planning leaders should align all stakeholders on a consistent definition of value and drive the attribution of value to projects during the standard intake process. Every project, no matter how small, should come through the centralized intake process. This should be an iterative practice, starting with a broader estimate of value delivered and firming up predictions as the project progresses.
- Keep business prioritization criteria simple – Keep prioritization simple and straightforward by grouping IT projects into three categories: “must do,” “should do” and “could do,” and continuously re-evaluate your portfolio to make sure you properly categorize projects.
This topic resonated with companies of all sizes, making this a highly collaborative discussion in which community members shared their own experiences, best practices, and current roadblocks around strategic capital planning. The event closed with happy hour at a nearby restaurant where in-person attendees connected over food and drink.
Are you a director-level or higher business leader in the Chicago area? Interested in getting involved in our 4PM Community of Interest? Our Chicago team will continue to co-host 4PM community of interest events throughout the year. Check out this link to learn more.