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PROJ6018 Project, Portfolio and Program management Assignment Sample


Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd (ES) commenced business in 2006 as the initiative of brothers Simon and John Benard. ES delivers an environment friendly wastewater management system, treating sewage effluent to advanced secondary levels certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The advantage of ES systems is that, in purifying domestic or indeed community waste water, it has no mechanical parts involved, no electricity needed for gravity fed systems and no chemicals added, the system is midrange cost, however with no or little maintenance once installed. ES is currently servicing domestic, communal and commercial systems to clients across the Australian and Asia-Pacific region. Globally, (wastewater management) governing bodies, installers and consumers alike, are realising the benefits of ES, as a great solution to an industry-wide challenge, meaning that the prospects for global expansion for the company are immense and eminent. Rather than limit the company with a small minded approach, ES wants to take the opportunity to expand into these new and challenging markets, which will require consolidation and reconstitution of the current operations in a way that will appease differing international regularity bodies and markets, and allow an adaptive structure that incorporates the complexities of the expansion. Simply put, ES is involved in a growing and expanding process that will take on new markets, countries and opportunities.

The ES system components are manufactured in China where ES has entered a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturing organization. After production, the system components are then transported to its warehouses in the Australasian and pacific countries that ES currently operates in, ready for distribution and installation for local clients.

The Opportunity

Wastewater management in the African nations is a regional problem, magnified by cost factors of installation, ongoing maintenance and complexity of current systems on the market. With the ability to supply a simplistic and cost-effective wastewater management technique, ES can take advantage of this extensive market opportunity through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in these countries. Although headquarters is in Melbourne Australia, each Asian Pacific country also has its own sales, administration and installation offices and teams. ES operations currently have a financial turnover of 25 million dollars per annum with 230 full time staff members.

The Objectives:

Objective 1 – Organisational Structure

Currently ES operating structure includes departments for each function and administrative branch of the organisation. The project managers are given responsibility to run their projects according to their own experience (being the PM experts) under the direction of the departments involved, and upper management. In order to expand into these new markets ES will need to restructure their internal organisational operations including ensuring that the current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and technological systems have the capacity to implement such expansion on a major scale while at the same time being able to organise the myriad of projects it knows will result from this international expansion. This will require specific human skillsets from across many of the locations in which they currently operate. Additionally, the initial restructuring project will require the assessment and update of the current organisational framework, policies, procedures, and processes. For example, the accounting, invoicing and administrations of the new organizational structure has to accommodate the expanded need to monitor and cater for exchange rates, bills of shipping, importing and exporting documentation across the new FDI nations.

Current Project Management

Currently all projects need to be governed and operated by ES, in terms of specific engineer requirements for soil types, excavation pit sizes and materials used, while also following strict installation guidelines for the product itself, these must be governed meticulously, meaning ES will be required to run multiple projects in each international market that it infiltrates. At times projects overlap in resource use and at other times are short on resources, which can cause delays and capacity problems. However, currently these issues are seen as the responsibility of the Project Managers and overseen by the managers of various departments (which often frustrates the PMs due to their misconceived renditions of project management principles). Considering this perception and attitude, the Project Managers are concerned at how the departmental management will respond to the upcoming changes, let alone the general staff in the organisation. Management is a little concerned about the magnitude of the expansion in terms of keeping track of the influx of project across the globe, it is difficult enough presently to determine if efficiency is maximised in every project.

Objective 2 – Supply Chain - Sustainability

Furthermore, new supply chains systems will need to be investigated and procured, including the processes of procuring, such as, tendering, negotiating and implementing contracts with transportation companies. In line with ES mandate for environmental operations management wants to ensure that the current, and future, manufacturing and shipping processes are consistent with their objective of corporate, social and environmental responsibility. The company’s goal is to persuade stakeholders, partners, and critics that its growth strategy includes plans for long-term sustainability. The team knows that delivering social responsibility and focusing on sustainability will deliver shareholder and strategic benefits. Although the ES system itself is considered very environmentally friendly, there is concern with regard to the actual manufacturing, the ES team is looking closely at environmental factors, such as pollutants, manufacturing materials, and safety, as well as energy usage. Therefore, ES leadership team is interested in learning about alternative materials, with an eye on both the environment and the safety of employees using those products in the manufacturing process. In addition, shipping the system components around the world will use gas and oil, releasing pollutants into the environment, so management also desires to include environmental consultants on potentially utilising alternative fuels and procedures for transportation and shipping processes.

Objective 3 - Legalities

From a legal perspective there are several factors that must be researched for compliance with the target nations legal systems, policies and regulations. For example, each countries laws on foreign direct investment (FDI), importing and operations is different and must be comprehended. Furthermore, the wastewater management industry is highly regulated, if not by the country itself then by international law. These legal factors must be clearly understood and complied with. Alongside this is the cultural aspects of the target countries, including local labour expectations, management style and health and safety practices.
Over the course of the (estimated 36 month) international project/projects, marketing is a vital component of which ES leadership wants to take advantage of social media networking in its marketing strategy.

Pre-Project Research

The leadership team also examined what other organisations had done in similar projects to avoid loss of revenue during their projects. From the research, the team identified three potential risks that could occur during this project of upgrading the IT systems and processes:

• Loss of business due to inability to process orders in a timely fashion
• Loss of credibility because of a lack of quality in the shipping process
• Loss of sales as competitors took advantage of any down time

While strategizing these changes on an organisation wide scale ES must consider the disruption to employees and ongoing operations. Current projects must run seamlessly to ensure no disruption to clients, and that targets are still met across the business. Consequently, the leadership team wants to monitor employee satisfaction to ensure minimal disruption and maintain employee satisfaction and continuous motivation of the upcoming expansion. Employee feedback will from part of this monitoring. It is important to ES portfolio management to focus on a continued level of the efficient delivery of quality products and services. This means ES must consider each of the following elements:

• Any constant and continued improvement to processes of order, billing, and shipping efficiencies.
• Any changes that may occur due to the current multiple projects; and
• New initiatives that may be created by the current multiple projects.

The Project Teams:

The projects that address the above goals require management of the complexity of the various project teams which incorporate multiple backgrounds, experiences, and even time zones. These individuals currently are located in Australia, China, Japan, and Vietnam and will soon expand to many other nations as well as include representatives from the ES Information Technology, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Accounting,Finance, and Legal departments. ES’ external stakeholders include their existing and potential customers, suppliers, and



This particular study would shed light on the project portfolio management maturity of Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd in detail focusing on necessary PPM needs for the organization in detail. Furthermore, the focus will be given to highlighting necessary tools used in the PPM software, relevant techniques utilized for implementing PPM with assessing the maturity level of the organization for impeding the software. In addition to that, emphasis will be given to enlisting the benefits that PPM will provide to the organization with a manager of change that might be caused due to PPM implementation and a list of challenges that the organization might face while impeding PPM. Furthermore necessary recommendations would be provided for making PPM more successful in the ES organization to function project management activity in the future smoothly.

PPM Needs

In general terms, Project Portfolio Management for assignment help indicates a specific process utilized by project managers as well as project management organizations popularly known as PMOs for analyzing the potential return to undertaking a particular project (Patrício et al. 2021). In this regard, it would be necessary for the Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd organization, especially the project managers, to utilize the necessary needs of PPM software for the successful completion of project management activities for the organization. Below are listed the necessary PPM needs in detail:

Risk management

It is considered to be a vital component of PPM software for the ES organization in the sense that all involved project managers will need to make out the ways through which the project activity would make a considerable impact on the portfolio (Jamshidnejad, 2021).

Financial management

Project activities appear to be notorious for project managers due to a couple of aspects such as taking too much time than planned, and making an analysis of the overall budget activity. In this respect, the project managers of ES organizations can use Dashboards for keeping an eye on the financial status for smooth pollution of project activity (Kostalova & McGRATH, 2021).

Pipeline management

In this case, it would be imperative for the project managements of the organization to maintain an effective balance in the form of generating a strategic number of proposals associated with the project to manage the pipeline or flow of project activity to running smoothly. It ensures that all the necessary aspects will make an eventful contribution to the smooth completion of the project activity (Ojiako et al. 2021).

Figure 1: PPM Needs
(Source: Created by the learner)

Resource management

A sufficient number of people are required for ES to carry on with help project management activities. For this reason, the project management authority of ES would have to manage its resources in an efficacious manner so that they can be able to conduct the necessary tasks and activities of project management in an effective manner.

Change management

It is the last fundamental aspect for project managers of ES organizations that will help in maintaining a smooth flow of organizational communication related to any change activity (Vanhanen, 2021). Since PPM software renders a central repository, therefore, the members of the organization will be able to manage requests rather than endeavoring to keep track of them.

Tools Used in PPM

Effective usage of relevant tools aid project managers to accomplish project activities accordingly. More importantly, it provides a steadfast approach for executing the necessary activities. There are several well-known tools which can be used in PPM such as:

Clarity PPM

It is a cloud-based solution which is easily accessible through SaaS applications. It assists users in transitioning to relevant digital project management for effectively managing enterprise resources, countering market disruptions and understanding customer demands effectively (Wang et al. 2022).


Known to be a SaaS-based suite, Planisware conducts management of project portfolios and necessary programs. It does integration of necessary resources, budgets, schedules and many others.


It is a well-known resource management solution that aids businesses in optimizing project portfolios, managing capacity, related to market demands and combining plans as well as resources for achieving proper execution of project activities (Villamil & Hallstedt, 2021).

Figure 2: PPM Tools
(Source: Created by the learner)


It is a cloud-based tool which is utilized for handling multiple projects at one time. This tool renders an effective scope for generating task management solutions based on which the project managers can provide a high-level overview related to their progress activities.


This tool helps in workflow automation for generating an enhanced collaborative approach for the smooth completion of project activities. It earners automation in recurring tasks resulting in reducing the lament of risks associated with the project.

Techniques used to implement PPM

The project management authority of Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd will have to follow five distinguished steps in the form of techniques for prolific implantation of PPM:

Defining approach of project portfolio management

Effective determination of the goals of the business organization, the establishment of a suitable framework, with analysis of the willingness of organizational members will be important for the ES organization to define a specific approach for project portfolio management (Bai et al. 2022).
Securing executive support for the portfolio plan

It has been observed that at present the operating structure of ES involves specific departments which look after necessary functions of the organization. It is the project managers on whom the entire responsibility is provided in running their project according to their skills and expertise (Kock & Gemünden, 2021).
Securing support from the team members for the project portfolio plan

Relevant support from team members also is vital for the ES organization to generate clear strategic goals and objectives associated with the project management activity. It helps in meeting new standards for the successful implementation of PPM within the organization.

Gathering portfolio data

The act of creating a list of present and potential projects of Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd is also necessary for generating relevant data on project timelines, project milestones, and necessary potential risks so that there should not be any problem in carrying out the activity through PPM software (Fabbro & Tonchia, 2021).

Prioritizing project portfolio

Prioritization of the project is required from the PM experts of the ES organization. In that case, they can select projects having increased ROI (or Return on Investment) or they can go to specific risk-averse methods (Ershadi et al. 2021).

Maturity Level of the organization in its ability to implement PPM

It is necessary for the ES organization to conduct a maturity assessment which makes an evaluation of the organization’s process in determining the ability of the process for continuously contributing to the achievement of organizational objectives. In this regard, the CS organization can follow the following steps to conduct a maturity assessment such as:
Understanding the business

In this aspect, the project managers of ES organization will need to understand the relevance of maturity assessment in its project m agent activities based on which they will be able to conduct regulatory requirements on a regular basis (Von Solms & Langerman, 2022).
Selecting the assessment methodology

In this regard, the organization can choose CMMI, COBIT etc models for identifying the relevant approach to proper implementation of PPM software within the organization.

Setting the scope

It is necessary for the project managers not to hurry too much rather they should wait for having enough time for getting a prominent picture of an end-to-end process with funding out relevant opportunities for mang any development (Aagaard et al. 2021).


Figure 3: Maturity Assessment of ES organization
(Source: Created by the learner)

Conducting stakeholder mapping

Stakeholders of the ES organization will include managers, customers, and senior management authorities who would play a vital role in the prolific implementation of PPM software within the organization. At the same time based on the necessary guidance and advice coming from the stakeholders, Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd can formulate relevant decisions in its project management activities.

Using the chunk approach

It is the last step of maturity assessments of the ES organization where the focus needs to be given to breaking the work into small doable chunks so that they can be performed quite easily by the members of the organization.

Benefits to the organisation of implementing PPM

Considering the current PM approach, Ecological Solutions Pty Ltd (ES) commenced its business in the year 2006. This company is committed to delivering a wastewater management system that is environmentally friendly. This treats the sewage effluent to secondary advanced levels which are certified by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation). Globally, installers, governing bodies as well as customers have realised the benefits that Ecological Solutions can provide with its services(NSF, 2022). It can provide excellent solutions to industry-wide challenges that can aid in global expansion. This is the reason why Ecological solutions want to grab the opportunity to expand its business instead of opting for a small-minded approach. Moreover, from the case study, it could be found that ES has several opportunities as it can grab the opportunity from the extensive market via FDI (foreign direct investment)(Stretton, 2022). In such a situation, ES is likely to get the following benefits if it opts to implement PPM:

1. Better use of the resources

As could be seen from the case study, each of the projects governed by ES needs adequate resources such as raw materials, engineering works, and so on. Resource dependency is one such factor that can lead to project failure. Demand management and resource planning therefore can be a daunting task(Sarbazhosseini, 2020). However, with PPM, the work becomes more manageable. The portfolio view allows for a more rounded approach. With PPM, ES can consider resource availability from the beginning while it will choose any project and thereby go on reviewing it periodically. This way it can provide better clarity to optimally use its resources across its projects.

2. Focus better on business goals and objectives

From the case study, it could be seen that ES has set its overall objectives to be focusing on organisational structure, enhance supply chain and sustainability and make the legalities stronger. From a legal perspective, there are ample factors that need to be emphasised for compliance with the legal system of the targeted nations. For instance, each country has different FDI, operations, and importing(Müller et al., 2019).

3. Enhance communication and alignment among the business leaders and different department

With PPM, ES can enhance internal communication while looking at the portfolio of the projects and thereby strike a balance while selecting, prioritising as well as sustaining the projects. By talking about the projects and portfolios, ES can improve overall communication within its corporate management by breaking the existing barriers among the sub-portfolios(Volk & Zerfass, 2018).

Managing the change that PPM creates

With PPM, many changes could be brought in the way each project is being handled and implemented. However, ES needs to manage those changes that PPM would create. The way it could do so are as follows:

1. Establish governance: ES can establish a governance model that can help it to maintain its PPM solution, such as any changes. The governance strategy will not only help in maintaining the PPM solution; however, it also will show the user that it is not always necessary to emphasise all aspects of implementation(Lock, 2018). It will guide ES to accept more changes.

2. Opt for a change management approach: PPM tools that could be used in the projects of ES include Clarity PPM, Asana, Planview, Clarizen, and so on and there are certain approaches that could be adopted to implement the tool(Volk & Zerfass, 2018).

ES could make sure that there is a senior and active sponsor who can master implementing the tool as a part of the change management tool.

• ES require to create a need to change for all the stakeholders of PPM.

• ES must explain the process of the business and projects to all the stakeholders and make them understand the benefits of using the new tools(Martinsuo&Hoverfält, 2018).

Challenges faced in implementing PPM

Among the common widespread business problems that ES may face while implementing project portfolio management, there can be productivity gaps, because ES has engineers, however, lacks managers and a workforce which can lead to insufficient automation of tasks(Saeed et al., 2021). As per the case study of ES, the following are the main challenges that ES might face while implementing PPM:

1. Internal culture and politics: ES is likely to face the barrier of internal culture and politics. PPM has a nature that demands change within any business and change will bring resistance.

2. Project management maturity: At ES, the project management maturity of the business is likely to play a key role. ES thereby needs to have a mature organisation's project management capability so that it can adapt to PPMreadily.

3. Management commitment: At ES, the top management committee may act as a hindrance to the value and purpose of the PMO.

Recommendations on how to make PPM more successful

Based on the above discussion, recommendations can be made to make PPM more successful for ES.

1. To ensure that ES is selecting the right projects for organisational investments, it is recommended to make use of benefit measurement methods. This would be an effective project selection technique for ES which is primarily based upon the estimated cash inflow and outflow as well as present value.

2. It is recommended to adopt GSCM (green supply chain management) to improve the maturity level of ES. Here, ES is recommended to adopt CMM (capability maturity model) because it can help in continuous process improvement. CMM moreover will provide frameworks that can help to organise maturity levels that can grab evolutionary steps and lay successive foundations for ES to maintain continuous process improvement.

3. ES uses a project portfolio management process to evaluate the project portfolio which aids in better decision making. To improve the current state, it is recommended to use portfolio management that can monetise the current as well as digital assets of Ecological Solutions.

4. To improve management and realisation of the ongoing and sustained benefits,it is recommended to roll out the PPM in order to improve management and grab more sustained benefits. ES can create a roll-out program by working with the manatees. It is recommended to focus on one department at a time and expand to other departments later (Chofreh et al., 2021).

5. ES is recommendedto consider certain basic factors while PPM and planning such as cost, duration of implementation,measuring the functions, and opt for solutions that are backed by SaaS. For ES, it is recommended that the PMO must be placed with alignment with the CFO, specifically since the IT will report to the CFO.

6. Based on the scope and scale of the project, ES needs to consider opting for a change management plan orapproach that can guide it to overcome the above-discussed resistance or obstacles. Moreover, it is recommended to set expectations that are realistic with the end users and emphasise communication regularly so that ES can address unexpected problems as fast as possible and address stakeholder acceptance regarding the changes.

7. PMO can improve the current maturity level by helping in developing a roadmap. Regarding the change management approach, ES is recommended to opt for active portfolio management for its waste management business.


Figure 4: Roadmap for implementing the PMO
(Source: Developed by the author)

8. To increase the success of this portfolio or program management,it is recommended to emphasise continuous lifecycle, for example, focusing on operational efficiency. Moreover, it is important to stay connected with stakeholders at all levels that can help ES to avoid disconnection between operations and strategy during the change within the organisation and overcome the challenges that have been identified in this study such as internal politics, management commitment and so on.


The report has discussed the PPM needs for Ecological Solutions that deliver wastewater management systems including treating sewage which plays an important role in today's world where sustainability is given importance. The report has thereby discussed the tools and techniques that ES can use to implement PPM. Thereafter, the maturity level of Ecological Solutions has been assessed along with defining its ability in implementing PPM. As it could be known from the study, PPM has several benefits to ES and the study has thereby discussed how ES can manage the changes brought about by PPM. Thereafter, the challenges that may come forth while implementing PPM were discussed. Based on the study, recommendations have been made which can help to make PPM more successful.


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