The seven steps to choose project portfolios that generate high returns

PlanningForce / Apr 17 , 2016

In order to choose the right project for you, it is important to start by (1) creating your project portfolio. You should then (2) link revenues to projects and costs to your resources. Then, (3) organize your projects according to their importance before (4) launching the automatic scheduling engine. 

Once you have launched the automatic scheduling engine, (5) analyze the cash flow curve and the value of the portfolio at the end of the selected period. (6) Save it as a simulation and then considering possible alternatives, based on different levels of input and resources, compare the results.

You can then repeat the steps (1) to (6) in order to find the portfolio generating the highest return for the year selected. 

(!) It is important to keep in mind that the value of your portfolio is linked to the use of resources within the company. For this reason, make sure to utilize the resources available optimally.

How do I then optimize my use of resources?

In order to optimize resource use, you must start by (1) planning your projects according to the skills required for each of the tasks. Do not use an existing nomenclature, but instead, establish the precise requirements at the start of the tasks. (2) In terms of resources, match the competences accordingly. Again, it is important not to rely on official qualifications or seniority, but through your personal assessment of “who can do what”. (3) According to necessity, enhance the levels of skill and associate efficiency rates, respectively.

(4) Launch the automatic scheduling engine and analyze the array of results. For each task, ask yourself the following questions:

(5) Would I have assigned this person to this task?

  1. Yes: perfect!
  2. No: you must continue to enrich your nomenclature and skills matrix and repeat operations (1) to (5) until the results are perfect.

(6) Do you have ‘holes’ in the occupation of certain resources?

  1. No: that’s fine: everyone is busy to the best of their ability; you may now ask yourself whether adding one or another resource would not be beneficial in speeding up certain projects.
  2. Yes: identify who will be under-occupied; you have two possibilities
    1. You can find activities to complement the schedule of the resource(s); perfect!
    2. You cannot find any activities for them; in this case, what training can you provide them in order to increase their contribution within the company.  


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