I put this idea of investing, project manager style, into two categories: investing in businesses and investing in projects. Here is where I see project management and investing intersecting for each of these.
Investing In Businesses
Investing in businesses is a project. You look at the scope of the business, the opportunities and the threats. The strategic skills that have become part of the project management lexicon are very important.
It is not at all about simply bringing in the project on schedule, within budget and delivering the required scope and quality. It is about evaluating what is possible on a project and evaluating people and plans for their capacity to deliver. It may also include participating in the tactical plans as to how to make a particular project a successful investment.
Investing In Projects
Within private or public businesses, not-for-profits, volunteer organizations and government entities, investing funds effectively to achieve results is a key activity.
Choosing those projects is often called project portfolio management, but it also is simply “investment." In fact, investment managers in the financial world are often called “portfolio managers" because they manage a portfolio of investments. Within an organization, portfolio managers manage a portfolio of project investments.
Whether investing in businesses or investing in projects, here are some of the key skills involved:
- Defining the project or investment
- Does the project have a clearly articulated vision?
- Are the objectives clear and documented?
- Does the scope delineation make sense?
- Has the end state delivery been clearly described?
- Organizing the project investment for success
- Are the ultimate customers well understood?
- Have the stakeholders been identified, and are they involved?
- Are the roles needed for ultimate project success clear and filled?
- Is it clear who is responsible, and are they capable?
- Is the project well structured, well organized?
- Evaluating the Plan
- Is it a good approach?
- What is the overall plan, and does it make sense?
- Is the resource plan adequate and realistic?
- Is the financial plan sound?
- Is the quality plan sufficient to yield required results?
- What are the risks and how might they effect the investment?
- What potential issues need to be handled or resolved?
- What are the assumptions, and are they valid?
- What are the constraints, and can this move forward within those constraints?
Doing these things looks like a project plan extended and being evaluated!
Have you considered the transfer of your project management skills to a more investment-centered domain?