I work for outsourcing software company and has been tasked to develop a program for cooperation with one of our customer.
At this point we have different projects with the customer.
On our understanding the customer’s projects structure looks like this:
-> Portfolio -> SubProtfolio 1 -> SubPortfolio 1.1 -> Program 1.1.1 >Project 1…N -> Program 1.1.2 >Project 1…N -> Project 1.1.1 -> SubPortfolio 1.2 -> Program 1.1 -> Project 1.1 -> Program 1 -> Program 2
The problem is that historically I was in charge of management SubPortfolio 1 just a Project Manager of separate projects, since from the customer side we have one person who was a sponsor and product manager. It was good to have one person managing many projects since knowledge of relation between different projects provides better/faster decision making process. Now the cooperation is slightly growing (however the same single sponsor). We added two more PMs, but we still work on the project basis, leaving portfolio/program level without proper attention. My management (not without reason) see the following potential problems:
The cooperation is not very scalable since I still keep a lot of knowledge across SubPortfolio 1
There are no active sales/development within SubPortfolio 1, since all PMs are bothered with their projects objectives
Some sub-programs may not get proper attention from our team
Teams and PMs may not be aware of each other influence
There are/could be different standards of quality for different projects for the same customer
On the other hand: PMs are complaining about absence of common knowledge base and historical information about cooperation with the customer
Account managers need the delivery unit of company provide a high quality and be ready to the ongoing changes on customer side
Support. We also are supporting some projects we implemented for the customer, and this is not streamlined enough. Support may influence other active development activities.
So now I’m tasked to implement a program for SubPortfolio 1 to mitigate the risks outlined above.
Looking at the PMI Program Management Standard, I see that program is intended to bring some benefits to the organization and includes projects and program activities.
I understand that creating a program would be great if we had projects for one product for example, so that we program could bring some benefits.
So the more I think about this I, start seeing it as a portfolio management. However how I can manage customer’s portfolio. I don’t have authority to prioritize, shuffle projects, etc.
So my question is how such cases are handled in your organizations or were handled in your practice?