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What is the single most important challenge you have to deal with in your current project, program or portfolio management activity?

I am developing a book on fixing PM/PFM/PGM situations (not how to set one up from scratch following the existing frameworks) and I want to make sure I address the things that other people see a lot of, rather than just covering the situations that have happened to me. [Please don't name names but the industry context would also be useful].

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The greatest problems I have with PM/PPM are collaboration and buy-in. Many PM and PPM tools focus on resources and time lines, but the most important resource in any project is the people. With over 500 PM/PPM tools in the market it is easy to get lost and not get the right tool.

One of the big issues for me is collaboration. This not only encompasses the coordination of resources, but constant communication, and ease of interaction. I have identified almost 300 of what I call DPM tools (a combination of collaboration and PM tools) and have put this list into what I call a DPM Directory, which has descriptions of all these tools, so you have a better chance of picking the correct one. Here is a directory of almost 300 tools - http://collaborativeshift.com/resources/the-dpm-directory/.

The other problem is buy-in. Most tools allow the project manager to assign tasks to resources, but how about the ability for resources to request or volunteer for tasks? Otherwise the tools support a more hierarchical command and control structure, which can engender resistance, lower productivity, and un-empower project workers.

What a great resource! And you've solved an approach that I was working on last year as a potential start-up. Give me a shout off-line if you want to chat about that.

Anonymous User

I work a lot with freelancers and in some rare cases I have experienced freelancers to suddenly seemingly disappear from the face of the earth. This can lead to large problems especially if the project has a strict deadline and the freelancer can not simply be replaced (artists for example).

Definitely agree - vendor-related risks tend to be under-estimated. We always seem to assume that the vendors will perform as advertised, or that they can be replaced if they don't. Neither of those is a very strong assumption.

Anonymous User

Indeed, best thing to do is to be prepared and to make sure you add a part to your terms and agreements that states that you can not be held responsible for any issues that are a result from unforeseen delays in the project. It helps if you have more than one capable freelancer in your pool. I currently may have to switch an illustrator on a project but luckily the style is easy to replicate for most professionals.


The list of instances would just go on and on ...Found a great article on line. Please check it out here - http://blog.task36.com/?p=464

Hope this helps :)
Sunal Jain

Good article, thanks. Do you have a candidate for your #1?


PPM is a blend of management disciplines that combines:

*A business management focus to ensure that all projects and programs align with the portfolio strategy.
*A general management focus for managing an organization's resources and risks.
*A project management focus for reviewing, assessing, and managing projects and programs to ensure they are meeting or exceeding their planned contribution to the portfolio.

PPM groups, views, analyzes, and manages projects together to maximize positive business results within an organization's resource constraints.

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