3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Your Project Portfolio is Growing

 

More work is great.

Provided, of course, that you have the resources you need to tackle a greater variety or volume of opportunities.

If not, then a larger workload can place your staff and organization under a lot of stress, and delays from overextension can lead to less satisfied clients. Good organizational tactics and tools can prevent these delays from occurring, and taking the time to plan efficient use of everyone’s time can prevent a lot of the stress that often comes with a new challenge.

 

Let’s say you’ve just taken on a client with 80 new projects.

With your current assignments, you know you can’t possibly extract, compile, and produce reports on all these new projects yourself, and your staff are already stretched to the max. Is it time to cancel that vacation? Do you need to hire new staff?

Don't put up your “Now Hiring” ad just yet. In this post, we’ll look at 3 concrete ways new projects increase workload and identify solutions for each of them so you can keep tedious admin hours low— even as your number of projects keeps going up.

 

Overview: New Projects = More Data Management

New projects increase your data management workload in three ways: amount of work (making one report instead of two), search time (looking through fifty files instead of five) and complexity (having to make three different report types instead of one).

 

What can You Do About It?

When you can provide clients with access to their projects without involving yourself, a lot manual reporting needs go away. Any new level of transparency means that the question “how is my project doing?” can be answered with less of your involvement. The right software can change project status updates from a manual process to an automatic one.

Follow the steps below to reduce your workload and improve how you communicate with clients.
 

1. Reduce the Amount of Manual Work

If data from your field team is visible to both you and your client as soon as it’s uploaded, you don’t need to collect and distribute it manually.

The more information you can control through a database, the less reporting you have to do. It’s worth looking for one that can handle the same kind of data that you do.

 

2. Reduce Search Times

Finding the best sites to allocate budget requires pulling out and comparing several different sets of data. Finding this information by hand in a spreadsheet can be very time consuming, with the add risk of missing something important if it was entered incorrectly. 

Project portfolio management, GIS and Project Relationship Management are all software options that can search and sort quickly, so when you need to choose sites you can make apples-to-apples comparisons more easily.

Finding a user-friendly solution that doesn't require hours of training will save your team additional time and increase collaboration between groups with different technical expertise. 

 

3. Reduce Complexity

Finally, when data is stored in multiple formats, it’s hard to find, use, and distribute. Even something as simple as labeling a file “phase 2” when another manager uses “phase II” can cause problems. 

A company-wide policy for file naming and storage is one option, but it won’t help with suppliers, partners, or clients. By introducing software that automatically keeps all incoming data in one format, errors and omissions are significantly reduced.

There are many ways to do this, but at Arkit we use a map to organize our clients’ portfolios, so all data is kept with the project, and the project data is referenced to its physical location in the world, safely within our database. 

 

Explore Your Options

Growing your portfolio is an exciting phase of business, and it doesn’t have to increase headcount or cause additional stress. For an example of how the city of Medicine Hat, a municipality in charge of its own Oil and Gas extraction, helped their HSE manager go from managing 250 sites to 750 through the introduction of the right software tools, download the CoMH Case Study Here.

 

Or, for a free demo of how we at Arkit help our clients keep control of their growing workload, get in touch today.




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