Multi-project management - Recommendations for decision-makers

Dr. Eric Schott summarizes the results of the current multi-project management study and called success factors for companies.

The German Multi-Project Management Conference (MPM) in Berlin recently came to an end. The event focused on the results of the latest MPM study (conducted by the Technical Universities of Berlin and Darmstadt - www.multiprojectmanagement.org).

In this context, the study’s recommendations for decision-makers are of particular practical relevance. Starting with empirical evaluations and analyses of the data from more than 250 study participants, the study determined what companies successful in project management (top performers) are doing particularly well, as well as the key success factors for good project management at the company level. The situation can be summarized as follows:

  1. Top performers have established a clearly defined MPM process that is also accepted by the stakeholders in real life.
  2. The main project decisions (selection and approval of new projects) are made along the lines of a binding process.
  3. The role of the PMO is well established both in the line organization and at the top management level, and is in a position to exert sufficient influence.
  4. IT solutions make a verifiable and significant contribution to successful MPM, particularly if the software supports the activities along the MPM process and features a superior user-friendly interface.
  5. Top performers are also very successful at managing projects because the corporate strategy is clearer and more binding than at other companies.
  6. In addition, the strategy is better communicated into the company and projects, and is subsequently tracked on a consistent basis (implementation monitoring).
  7.  Both vertical integration (from company management to the individual departments) and horizontal integration (e.g. the connection and coordination between the departments) work very well at these companies.
  8. Top performers are usually also innovation leaders. Particularly in times of significant market turbulences, they rely on strategic budgets, which has proven to be very effective.
  9. On the other hand, these companies also subject their strategy to more scrutiny. That is, they monitor their portfolio more frequently and at a more fundamental level than the other survey participants. An added factor: top management is also accustomed to responding more quickly to changing conditions when the market shifts.
  10. In the case of the top performers, upper management has considerable know-how about the complex project environment at its company. That is: Project portfolio management must also be a management competence at the higher management level!

These assessments and the underlying quantitative analyses provide a sound basis for speaking to companies about the further development of their project management activities. Hence the destination of the journey is no longer divined from a crystal ball, but on the basis of sound starting points. Campana & Schott supports companies on this journey, and uses a company-specific road map to define how the objective will actually be achieved.