Multi-Project Management - Development of a Portfolio Overview System at Tetra Recart
Abstract: Problem Until recent years, not enough focus has been placed on assuring the strategic fit of launched projects and multi-project management. Even though the situation is getting better, many companies still do not seem to get their project portfolio management right. At the same time research has shown that businesses that feature a systematic portfolio management process outperform the rest. To provide managers with a basis for making the right internal decisions, data has to be gathered and presented in a correct and easy accessible way. This would help management to allocate resources, prioritise projects, getting the right mix of projects and making adequate go/kill decisions. How can an intranet based system solve this problem? Purpose The aim of this thesis is to develop an intranet based system that provides managers with information needed to manage a company’s project portfolio. The system will be evaluated and analysed according to relevant theories in order to establish whether it can be of any use in the multi-project environment described in literature. Methodology The methodology is based in reality with a tangible problem, which implies an inductive approach. The problem was not clearly defined at the beginning but rather raised as a more general desire, from which the authors had to formulate the actual problem to investigate and further evaluate and choose the proper way to conduct the research. Empirical studies were carried out to clarify the needs of the organisation, the possibility to implement a new system and the requirements of such a system. Together with the empirical information gathered, theoretical knowledge was used that was primarily obtained from literature discussing project management and multi-project management. The knowledge from these sources was incorporated during the evaluation of the company needs and the generation of the concept model for creating a system to handle the project portfolio. Conclusions When comparing pros and cons of Portos, the Portfolio Overview system developed within this thesis, it is not possible to make a quantitative statement of whether the benefits prevail over the requirements and limitations related to the system. Instead, the conclusion whether Portos is a system well suited for handling multi-project issues must be drawn on qualitative aspects. With this in mind, as well as the presented pros and cons, the conclusion is that an intranet based system has large potential in providing managers and project managers with relevant information enabling them to successfully manage the project portfolio. Theoretically it has been found necessary to extend the multi-project environment framework with a sixth area in addition to the existing five; Capacity, Conflict, Commitment, Context and Complexity. The added C, Communication, is added since communication often solves multi-project related issues or at least make them less complex and severe.
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