There’s a wide variety of ways to view all of the endeavors your organization is working on, but viewing all of the work within your company’s wingspan can be quite daunting, and perhaps even meaningless, as it lacks the context and actionability of how your initiatives unfold on a day-to-day basis.
Clustering your projects into Portfolios will help your company’s leadership contextualize your efforts, as well as sharpen the focus of those tasks with carrying out the daily driving. Such organization benefits both client-facing and product companies alike, though they’ll likely structure their Portfolios differently.
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What is a Portfolio?
Portfolios are a grouping of projects by a form of relevancy, be it shared resources, a common goal or customer, or internal ownership. Creating and managing Portfolios is the core functionality of dedicated software. Leveraging a Portfolio to group projects allows you to focus on how these different projects impact one another without taking other irrelevant initiatives into account.
Nifty organizes projects into Portfolios for organization and access control.
Bundling a client’s projects into their own Portfolio is a natural way for service teams to organize their projects. Doing so allows you to coherently gauge all of the timelines of that client’s projects to best understand project profitability as well as streamline reporting.
While this methodology is crystal clear to understand from a structural and value perspective, it works best when most of your clients have more than a single project with you. A 1:1 project to Portfolio subverts the benefit of Portfolios as it does not add additional relevance by grouping projects.
2. Ownership Portfolios
Another popular way to cluster projects is by internal ownership. This methodology works for both service and product teams, though is probably more commonly used with the former based on typical resource dedication.
This structure emphasizes the Portfolio owner, and is a great way of gauging the bandwidth of your Accounts and Project Management teams. This might also serve as a great alternative to the Client Portfolio structure if you have a majority of single-project clients.
3. Departmental Portfolios
Breaking out your Portfolios by department is a classic way of viewing your organization’s projects. Surprisingly, this methodology is not strictly for product companies, though is used in this setting more commonly than not.
By grouping all of your Marketing, Development, Design (and so on..) projects together, their cross-project resources become much easier to account for as you can view the entire lens of this department. In larger organizations, this is more likely to break into our 4th structure.
4. Cross-Functional Portfolios
This final methodology calls for organizing a collection of projects based on a united goal or initiative, even if the involved members of the project call from a wide array of roles within the organization.
Shipping a new product line or preparing for a major event, as a couple examples, requires a wide set of employees and their skills to execute a multitude of projects towards a singular purpose. One might view this as the product company’s version of the Client Portfolio.
Portfolios serve to bring a reporting and resource clarity for the managerial team of your organization. For this reason, you might find it useful to occasionally shift projects between Portfolios, or even rebuild your Portfolio structures entirely, to make sure you’re optimizing the relevance of each of your project groupings.
Is there a method that we missed? Be sure to let us know below!