You may be familiar with project management, but what can portfolio management do for your company? In a project-based organization, where you take in clients and work and provide either a good or a service, a good portfolio manager is going to align all of the work done within your organization so it supports the mission of the organization, and they’re going to select projects that further that mission and reject projects that don’t support it. In this article, I’m going to provide a couple of examples of this to help provide context, both from the IT service industry and the manufacturing perspective, and then give you some tips on managing your company’s portfolio.
With a new blog, you have to have a first post. Years from now, you’ll forget what that first post was, but people will dive all the way back to the beginning of your archive to see where you began. With that in mind, I’ve decided to write about my process for starting this new project of Meta-Manage.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
From a young age, we are trained to always be looking to the next thing. What does it look like to be happy, to be successful, to be grown up, or to be ready for life? The next milestone is always the place where we assume things will be better: graduate high school, or graduate college, or get that particular job, or get married, or have kids, or buy a house, or buy a car, or get a certain amount of money, or pay off debt, or publish a book, or retire…
There’s always something we’re working towards. Something that, when achieved, will let us finally relax and feel done, at least for a while. We are working towards victory.
And as many of us know, victory never comes. There is always another milestone. The feeling of relief and euphoria and elation fades. The world continues to spin and we have to keep moving.
I am currently distributing this letter to members of First & Calvary Presbyterian Church who also happen to be faculty, staff, and/or students at Missouri State University, but also wanted to post it for everyone to read.
In short, First & Calvary Presbyterian Church has elected to respond to budgetary concerns by cutting the position of College Minister from a full-time staff position to part-time with no benefits. This will effectively mean the end of the college ministry at First & Calvary, a move I find particularly remarkable for a congregation that resides on a college campus. Because a lot of people weren’t aware the position was being cut, I wrote the above letter to notify them and encourage people to attend the upcoming Town Hall meeting.
Part of the problem, as I see it, is that the church views college ministry as a component of Christian Education (that is, after all, the budget and line items under which the ministry has been placed), and strictly in terms of CE, it might be viewed as less than satisfactory. Many members have children who grew up in the church but, upon reaching college-age, stopped attending, and we have not been successful in getting those kids to come back. Moreover, we only have 5-10 college students attend on Sunday mornings, and if that’s the only means by which we are measured, it is difficult to justify a full-time position for 5-10 people.
However, the college ministry is so much more than that, and I fear that our benefits have been overlooked. As Brian wrote in The Review (the church’s weekly newsletter) last week, we have had over a hundred students through our doors in the last four months, with over thirty attending most every week, and have logged more than 150 hours of community service in the last semester. We serve members of the church as well as the campus community, but a lot of members don’t even know we exist.
Now is the time to let them know. If we’re going to get this decision reversed, we need to convince people that college ministry, that FnC, is not just a Christian Education youth group for five or ten kids. Rather, it is an outreach, a ministry that dives into one of the most important mission fields in the world, ministering to and discipling the future leaders and visionaries of our world. Working with college students means investing in the lives of those people who will, very soon, be changing the world in which we live. If you want to “go into all the world,” train college students in the teachings of Jesus and you’ll be right there.
There is a Town Hall meeting at the church this Sunday, February 1st, at 12:15 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room (downstairs, AKA the gym where the contemporary service is held). It is ostensibly for members of the church, but if you are a student, faculty, or staff member, not just of Missouri State but somewhere in the Springfield area, I would encourage you to attend and let your voice be heard. As far as I’m concerned, First & Calvary is stating that they are cutting missions work to the university, that the university is no longer valued or valuable, and that they see no need to invest in it.
I value college ministry highly, and cannot stand idly by when such talk is bantered around. Whether or not the above sentence represents the motivation or feelings of the people who voted to cut the ministry, it is most certainly the outcome. Cutting Brian’s position to part-time means the end of FnC and subsequently the end of any real missionary and discipleship work towards the university.
I will be at the Town Hall meeting, and I encourage you to attend as well. Let us show the church the value of a college ministry and implore them to reconsider.
To read my letter about the ministry, its impact, and its value, please click here.