Maintaining an overview in project management is often a challenge. How do you set priorities? Which processes are linked to the individual projects within the company? What cross-project dependencies exist and what resources are available? SEEBURGER has decades of experience with multi-project management. We have compiled basic tips and approaches to multi-project management for you.
Challenge No. 1 in multi-project management: limited resources
The project manager is at their limit. “I can’t clone myself!” Who could have thought of giving them all the different client projects at once? Does the situation sound familiar?
Keeping an overview of project management
Maintaining an overview of projects and resources is crucial when coordinating a project portfolio. Project management tools that show you all aspects of your projects help you do this:
- Nature and scope of the project
- Budget and current profit margin
- Project priority and project risk assessment
- Project schedule with corresponding project phases and milestones
- Work packages, tasks and activities
- Responsibilities and project participants
- Project documents and activity reports
In addition, modern project management tools provide time recording features for internal and external project staff, project billing (including advance payments) and project communication on a single platform.
If the project management tool is also integrated with the ERP system, all upstream and downstream processes are directly connected. The Project Manager thus obtains a holistic overview from a central database.
Standardization – Making multi-project management feasible
Multi-project management becomes easier if each project is not unique in all aspects. In some cases, it is only the point of view that matters. Because what is a unique project for a customer can be close to routine for a software provider like SEEBRUGER. So the standardization of the SEEBURGER product portfolio enables us to work efficiently with project templates. Even if customer projects vary in scope and design, the basic framework for implementing the individual SEEBURGER solutions is always the same. This means that SEEBURGER Project Managers and Consultants have access to project templates that have proven themselves in practice. Even if very complex and individual projects are to be implemented, sub-projects/work packages can usually be reused from the pool of proven project templates.
Concise project management due to a standardized database
In addition to conflicts over resources, cross-project dependencies make multi-project management considerably more difficult. Coordinating these dependencies is the task of the SEEBURGER Project Management Office (PMO), which calls in other specialist departments such as Product Management if necessary.
The PMO drafts guidelines for important milestones. If project B cannot start until a certain milestone in project A is reached, both projects must be planned as a package, so to speak. Assuming that an Application Programming Interface (API) to a specific signature service provider is required to implement an e-invoicing solution for Customer A, this API must first be made available by the development department. The e-invoicing solution can only be implemented once the interface is complete.
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The same API interface could also be reused for another project at a second customer B. This project would then depend on the project at customer A. Resources and priorities must be allocated accordingly.
The best way to create transparency is to have a uniform database. This also allows dependencies within projects to be managed.
Find out all about APIs – from API Management to API Solution in our structured guideline.
Conclusion – project management software enables a transparent project portfolio
Multi-project management is a challenge that can be overcome with project management software that is integrated with ERP. A superordinate coordination unit, such as the Project Management Office, helps with standardization, coordination and quality assurance across the entire project portfolio.
In our two blog posts Key Users – the most important ambassadors for the introduction of new IT projects and The Top Criteria for the Perfect Key User, we will show you how you can attract and use key users for the introduction of new projects.
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Written by: Rolf HolickiRolf Holicki, Director BU E-Invoicing, SAP&Web Process, is responsible for the SAP/WEB applications. He has more than 25 years of experience in e-invoicing, SAP, Workflow and business process automation. Rolf Holicki has been with SEEBURGER since 2005.