Growing up

Change is often the most effective way to help an organization evolve. And one significant way to instill change is to reorganize an organization's project portfolio, an initiative requiring that executives make difficult but important decisions about which projects to keep and which to cancel. This article examines how organizations can restructure their project portfolio so as to more effectively achieve their strategic objectives. It describes the key concerns in restructuring and monitoring a project portfolio; it explains the process one company--Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ, USA)--uses to gauge the value generated from its current project portfolio and its proposed restructuring. It also suggests how executives can improve portfolio performance and identifies the possible negative impact of restructuring a project portfolio, including a project team's lowered motivation for completing existing projects. It then lists five steps and three factors that can help organizations effectively deal with the aftermath of restructuring a project portfolio. Accompanying this article is a sidebar discussing the role that executives must play in restructuring a project portfolio, and most specifically, in canceling projects and successfully implementing organizational change.
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