Project Planning, Portfolio, and Programme


Executive Summary

This report entails an evaluation of project management process and related aspects, including the portfolio, programs, and project. The report is founded on the statement that the eight-step project portfolio process is a profound approach to select and manage projects that are related to the organisational goals and objectives. This report reveals that there are several approaches of integrating the organisational goals and objectives into the firm’s project plan. These include a better understanding of the project management process and the company’s goals, ensuring the availability of resources and capabilities. The resources may be financial, human, and physical. The report further shows the differences between project, program, and portfolio. Notably, the portfolio entails a collection of resources, projects, programs, and activities that will promote the achievement of the organisational goals and objectives. Programs are a collection of projects in the same category or are related. Two recommendations from this discussion are the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and educating the stakeholders to ensure they are competent in the project management process.



Table of Contents

Executive Summary. 2

1.0      Introduction. 4

1.1      Purpose of the Report 4

2.0      Organisational Goals and Project Plans 4

2.1      Integrating Organisational Goals from Business Case into Project Plans 5

2.2      Difficulties and Challenges. 8

3.0      Project Portfolio and Programme. 9

3.1      How Projects form a Portfolio. 9

3.2      Differences Between Programme and Project 11

4.0      Conclusion. 12

4.1      Recommendations. 12

References 13


1.0 Introduction

Successful project management involves identifying, grouping, and managing things, resources, activities, and responsibilities. According to Kock and Gemunden (2019), this defines the project portfolio. Notably, the portfolio in broad describes the grouping of things and activities. Although the grouping is unique to the industry and scope of the project management process, primary consideration factors are the products, investments, assets, people, and finances. As described by Killen et al. (2020), such a grouping is vital in developing a centralised management and ensuring profound oversight of various programs and projects. One of the critical aspects in project management is to ensure that the activities are aligned with the organisational goals and objectives. This is essential in ensuring a successful project planning and implementation process. Further, aligning the plans with the organisational goals is essential in ensuring strategic management and effective interdependencies, including the shared resources (Breus et al., 2019). On the other hand, it is crucial to consider the challenges and difficulties in the entire project management process and associated aspects, including the integration of the organisational goals into the plans and the portfolio.

2.1Purpose of the Report

This report is centred on Meredith (2017, p. 55) statement that the eight-step project portfolio process is an effective way to select and management projects that are tied to the organisational gaols. The discussion involves how the organisational goals can be integrated from the business case into the project plans and the challenges in this element. It also involves an evaluation of how projects form a portfolio and the differences between the project and programme.

2.0 Organisational Goals and Project Plans

Organisational goals and project plans are fundamental to the competitive advantage of the company and execution of its strategies. Ying et al. (2021) defines project plans as the series or steps in a formal document defining the project execution and control. Some of the principle elements in the project plans are resource and risk management, costs, and schedules. The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) has resulted in innovative approaches, such as the project management software, which is used by managers to foster the robustness and thoroughness of the plans (Puska et al., 2020). Project plans comprises of various documents, including the charter, statement of work, the work breakdown structure (WBS), and the actual plan. A comprehensive project plan, associated elements, and the key factors is shown in figure 1 below. Understanding the definition and elements of the project plan is preliminary to defining how the plan’s aspects are integrated to the firm’s goals.

Figure 1: Project Plan Documents and Associated Elements (Source: Author).

Project management is also anchored on the organisational goals and objectives. According to Zwikael et al. (2018), organisational goals refer to strategic objectives that the firm’s management develops to show the anticipated outcomes. They are also important in guiding the workforce efforts. During the project management process, integrating the organisational goals is essential in directing the employees’ efforts, justifying the firm’s existence and activities, defining the performance standards, and identifying the constraints to achieving the firm’s goals. Therefore, as Shah and Ganji (2018) note, goals have business merit if companies have to craft a strategic plan for selecting and meeting the targets.

2.1 Integrating Organisational Goals from Business Case into Project Plans

The primary importance of integrating the organisational goals into the project plans is to enhance the achievement of the outputs and intended outcomes. As described by Haseeb et al. (2019), the project plans aligned with the company’s goals are essential in ensuring the sustainability of the company’s strategies, its competitive advantage, and aligning the approaches with the future needs. Business cases comprise several aspects as demonstrated in figure 2 below. From the business case, organisations can learn the reasons for doing business, key dates and milestones, the risks, the benefits, and the considered solution options (Sedmak, 2017; Martins et al., 2018). The business case, for instance, provides the potential outcomes in terms of measurable numbers. This ensures that the project’s success can be calculated upon its completion.

Figure 2: Elements of a Business Case (Source: Author)

Aligning the organisational goals with the project plan provides the project with flexibility and ensures that the sense of purpose and contribution of the project to the organisational welfare is achieved. In contemporary organisations, as described by Beratan (2020), aligning the organisational goals from the business case ensures that the resources are adequately used, which is the foundation of the company’s welfare. During the development of a project plan, it is essential for the project managers to understand the firm’s goals and objectives, which aids in the creation of realistic strategies. Integrating the company’s business goals into the project plan also promotes the communication process between various stakeholders, effective management of resources, ensuring that the managers make informed decisions, and improve the chances of success. Although this alignment may appear complex, achieving it step-wise ensures that every business goal is integrated into the project’s strategy and achieving the proposed outcome. As outlined in the flow chart in figure 3 below, the process of aligning the business goals and objectives with the project plan can be described by five key stages.

Figure 3: Developing a Project Plan (Source: Author).

From the figure 3 above, the first step entails an understanding of the organisational objectives and mission. This ensures that the business strategy or strategic plan is built on these goals. This further helps in evaluating the organisational strategic position, informing the firm how to build on its strength, address the weakness, and exploit opportunities (Udoagwu, 2020). Under the assessment of the capabilities and resources, it entails examining if it is possible to execute the plan. Notably, all the resources and support in the project plan should be applied to meet the firm’s objectives. According to Adzmi and Hassan (2018), the plan should comprise of the assets, finances, equipment, and the employees. In every organisational goal, the plan for sustainability and the future is critical. Therefore, the business case aimed at promoting the current and future objectives should inform the project plan and should factor in the organisational goals and objectives.

Both the current and the future project plans should be centred on a sound environmental scan using tools, such as SWOT and PESTEL. These tools are essential in identifying the environmental consideration factors that may influence the plans (Galabova, 2019). Another important element is developing a method that will foster the achievement of the organisational objectives. In the action plan, it should integrate various aspects, including teamwork, communication, budgeting, and project management to ensure the overarching objectives have been achieved (Chakrabortty et al., 2019). The final step is based on ensuring that the plan is continuous and evolves. This involves a regular review to ascertain that the business case, project plan, and the organisational objectives are aligned.

2.2Difficulties and Challenges

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