Manage Your Project Portfolio Differently
Whether you are in charge of your entire project flow (entrepreneurs,
ultra-empowered), or most of your projects get handed to you (typical
employee situation), most of us fall into a trap of letting our projects
define our workflow, and our future.
You absolutely must manage your project portfolio for your personal
success and for your future!
Designing Your 2017 Project Portfolio
We all know that our future will be filled with lots more disruptions,
lots more volatility, lots more chaos. The best way to organize your today
to prepare you for that future is by managing your project portfolio.
Think of your projects in much the same way you manage your long-term
financial portfolio. You and your financial advisor assess your tolerance
for risk and manage your investments accordingly. An ‘average’ investment
portfolio is likely to contain a small amount of high-risk/high-return
investments, a small amount of low-risk/lower-return investments, and
the majority, somewhere in the middle — not risky, but high enough
returns to help you get to your long-term goals.
Your projects need to be
managed in the same
way. Let’s say you do
ten projects per year,
and your focus is
‘average.’ To ensure
that you are future
strong, about one out
of every five projects
need to be beyond
your normal risk tolerance — bolder, riskier, more disruptive, greater
chance of failure, greater chance of ‘looking bad’ than your normal workload.
This is the bare minimum to be future strong: two out of every ten projects need to be outside your comfort zone, beyond what you
would normally seek out.
If you are not getting that from your manager, you must be proactive in
seeking out that kind of project!
You’re about to plan for success in 2017. If you end the year with less than
two out of every ten projects that began far outside your comfort zone,
then you’ll soon be joining the dinosaurs. You won’t be strong enough to
succeed in 2018. (BTW: The Elon Musks, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disneys of
the world fill their portfolio with eight or nine or ten out of every
ten projects with work beyond most people’s comfort-zones.)
It’s your responsibility to get the projects you need to ensure your
long-term success. Be proactive. Build a more disruptive project portfolio
for 2017 than you did in 2016. You’ll need it!