Multi-project management involves multiple projects of an enterprise or organizational unit, i.e. many projects are implemented in parallel and have the same pool of resources. Multi-project management includes managing (i) the common goals of multiple projects in a portfolio and (ii) the different goals, budgets, and priorities of multiple projects in a business or organization. Without the support of the right processes, strategies and appropriate technology, multi-project management can be difficult and often encounter the following problems:
- Some projects are re-planned
- Resource conflict
- Increased costs
- Quality change
The reasons for the frequent occurrence of the above are as follows:
- Require to coordinate resources from different departments for multiple projects
- Multiple projects share the same or the same set of key resources (eg, domain experts, design teams). When the time of one of the projects changes, it affects the available time of these shared key resources, which in turn affects the time of other projects.
- Deliverables between projects have interdependencies, and when a project’s deliverables change, it affects other projects that depend on it
- As the market changes, the strategic contribution, priorities and business requirements of the project will be affected and changed.
- Whenever a change occurs, you need to analyze the impact, make decisions and re-planning within a short period of time to minimize adverse effects.
The above can be summed up: multi-project management is more difficult than single-project management because of the greater internal competition for the limited resources of the former. This is a simple but often overlooked fact—each company has only limited resources at its disposal, regardless of human, financial or material. Meanwhile, companies that want to succeed must respond quickly and adequately to a variety of economic and everyday challenges. As a result, they carry out different activities simultaneously, some as projects, others in production and processes, but all of these activities naturally compete for the limited resources of the organization.
The complexity of multi-project interconnection is much higher than that of single-project interconnection, and the stakeholders involved are far more than that of single-project interconnection, so internal competition is far more intense than that of single-project interconnection. Only real-time and persuasive data can convince stakeholders and even cooperate to make trade-offs.
To obtain effective data to address these challenges, multi-project managers must understand the use of technology.
If you are a qualified single-project manager and know that multi-project management involves a large amount of data and must find suitable technical support, the challenges of multi-project management will not be difficult to solve. You can use PMO to meet the challenge:
1. Establish a Project Management Office
Use PMO to establish a project management office, including a) reporting (information collection, evaluation and distribution), b) methodology (accountability, compliance monitoring, consulting, technical support, training and certification of other organizational units), c) management (leading internal project leaders, managing individual projects) and other roles.
2. Train staff on your chosen project management method
Use PMO to train employees on how to perform tasks and project management knowledge and experience. If little is applied in a consistent and disciplined manner, less may be more here.
3. Consistent priorities
Define priority levels with PMO. This priority must be respected across the organization—including top management—and aligned with the organization’s culture, strategy, and systems.
4. Implement PMO
PMO supports project management reports, methods and management rules, as well as priority management. It forms the basis for putting the above point system into practice. It does this by providing a basis for decisions and creating transparency for such decisions