Don't Keep Project/Program/Portfolio Management and Service Management Separate
April 07, 2011

Matthew Burrows

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If we in our organisations really want to do the best for our customers and the objectives of our businesses, we need to be more customer-centric and service-orientated.

This requires us to put everything we do in the context of how it serves our customers and business colleagues, which is usually about good people and processes making sure we deliver the products and services we have promised. Without the customers we have nothing, and we keep customers by delivering good services and products, and making sure that our people, processes and technology are efficient and effective in how they support that.

I would argue that you also have to put the portfolio of projects and programs in the same context. Surely projects are just delivery mechanisms for change (as in the Service Management sense of the word 'change'). In my experience, projects either deliver new services/products, make changes to an existing service/product, or provide a capability which supports the delivery of one or more services/products. There is always a service context, and the output and impact of a project lives far beyond the timeline of the project itself.

There is a tried and tested model for driving closer collaboration of project and service worlds, which has been used successfully with customers. It really does work well, and can be done much more easily than many fear. In an environment where we are challenged to do more with less, reduce cost without sacrificing quality, we have to look at all improvement opportunities - and this is a good one.

So, we're all in it together - Project/Program/Portfolio Management and Service Management. We will be much stronger, more effective and efficient, by sharing our knowledge and skills, and working together in our new customer-centric service-orientated operating model.

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