Most books on project management are written for someone managing one project at a time, working with a team of people who only work on that project. Some companies work that way, but certainly not all do. I’ve seldom worked that way. At one point I “managed” so many projects that I could not tell you the exact number without looking at my list.
Johanna Rothman’s new book Manage Your Project Portfolio (ISBN 1934356298) addresses the challenges of managing not just one project but a portfolio of projects. The book does not tell you how to work multiple simultaneous projects but rather how to get away from working on multiple projects by prioritizing them and working on one at a time.
Here are a couple quotes from the beginning of the book.
Quite often I have the chance to visit a team to help management figure out why they’re not making much progress. When I get there, I find a small team working on more projects than they have people.
Multitasking occurs when managers don’t make decisions about which projects to do first, second, third, last, and even more important, never.
I wish I could have read Johanna Rothman’s book a decade ago. On the other hand, I would not have appreciated the book as much a decade ago. Still, it might have helped me prevent some of the errors I made. I hope that many people will read the book before they become overwhelmed and appreciate its wisdom.