Multi-project management

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According to DIN 69909 part 1, multi-project management is the "organizational and procedural framework for the management of several individual projects . Multi- project management can be organized in the form of programs or project portfolios . This includes, in particular, the coordination of several projects with regard to their dependencies and shared resources."

Multi-project management moves in the field of tension between operational and strategic decisions. On the one hand, it is important to put together the project portfolio “correctly” at the strategic level and to set the “right” priorities; On the other hand, the individual projects have to be carried out economically on the operational level, resource conflicts have to be resolved and time bottlenecks have to be mastered. One example is the rollout of an ERP system in an international corporation: the simultaneous introduction of several interrelated locations makes multi-project management necessary.

The DIN 69909 for multi-project management - management of project portfolios, programs and projects - consists of four parts:

  • Part 1: Basics
  • Part 2: processes, process model
  • Part 3: Methods
  • Part 4: roles

and is developed and maintained by the GPM specialist group "Standards in Project Management", under the direction of Ralf Roeschlein . The DIN 69909 harmonizes very well with the standard for individual project management DIN 69901 and DIN 69900 . Furthermore, a comparison with the international standards is carried out on a regular basis, e.g. B. ISO 21500 , ISO 21503 , ISO 215004 or ISO 21505 . The cooperation of industry or organizations for the further development of multi-project management is expressly desired.

Strategic multi-project management

The goals of strategic multi-project management are:

  • Selection of the projects that bring the greatest benefit
  • Prioritization of ongoing projects
  • Ensuring a balanced project portfolio (e.g. according to ISO 21504 ) with regard to the risk (see also risk management )
  • Show the effects of plan changes
  • Compliance with project governance ISO 21505

Possible methods are:

  • Evaluation of the projects according to the criteria of "attractiveness" and "risk"
  • Project selection according to "strategic importance" and "urgency"
  • Pair comparison of the individual projects with regard to defined criteria
  • Influence matrix between the projects
  • Correlation analysis

The term project portfolio management has also been used for this since 2001 .

Operational multi-project management

Operational multi-project management means overarching project management activities, overarching controlling in schedule and capacity planning (regulation of access of several projects to common resources), overarching reporting and knowledge management , standardization of project processes, uniform quality management and project evaluation. It can be done by a traffic manager .

In practice, critical chain project management in its form as a multi- project management methodology has proven itself. Critical chain project management primarily addresses the avoidance of multitasking by staggering the projects at the bottleneck and securing deadlines through targeted buffer management. Buffer management also includes project and portfolio controlling at the same time.

Two aspects of multi-project management: programs and portfolios

Multi-project management is often divided into:

Program management

Projects in programs have common goals. For project managers, this often results in a large number of restrictions (e.g. schedule, budget-related, technical), as their projects have to be coordinated with the other projects within the program.

Project portfolio management

Projects in portfolios often compete for resources and management attention.

A program can have an operational or project character. The management of a project portfolio always has an operational character.

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