Breaking Down the Portfolio

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

A project portfolio can contain almost anything. How you break down the portfolio can have a great impact on the business and the projects on hand. How can a PM break down the portfolio into manageable chunks of work?

Portfolio Management: Simple is Often Better

by Michael Wood

Many organizations have benefited from a formal PPM process while others have been unable to develop productive PPM capabilities. The only real thing that matters is what approach to PPM will work best for your organization; the rest is just noise and distraction. Here is some guidance that you might find helpful in developing and/or honing your organization’s PPM function.

BI and the Portfolio: Improving Annual Planning

by Andy Jordan

There is no silver bullet that will allow us to remove all uncertainty, but we can apply some business intelligence practices to the concept of annual planning to at least increase our confidence levels and reduce the risks around the decisions that we make.

Business Intelligence as PM Decision Support

by Andy Jordan

Project portfolio management tools are becoming more widespread and more powerful, but are we fully leveraging them as well as we might? There could be some exciting things possible if we combine a PPM database with a BI tool.

Is Your PMO an Integral Part of Organizational Leadership?

by Andy Jordan

We now look to PMOs to take more of an active role within the entire lifecycle. For that expanded role to be successful, the PMO needs to be more than simply the guide and controller for project execution; it needs to be accepted into a leadership role within the organization--partners with business units and accepted experts on portfolio execution.

Data Gathering in Portfolio Management

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Making good business decisions while managing a portfolio often comes down to gathering the proper data and creating useful business intelligence. Here's some advice on four critical stages of the process.

The Wrong Way to Determine Priorities

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

When projects are gathered together in a portfolio, decisions must be made about which ones have priority over the others. There are lessons to be learned in examining the wrong ways of determining a project’s priority.

Should Technology and Process Coexist?

by Andy Jordan

With the ever increasing use of technology, how are processes impacted? Our writer feels that technology should be an overlay to the process work--we should start with a solid process and then look for ways that technology could make life easier in the execution of the process. But a colleague doesn't agree...

The Problem with PMOs and Governance

by Andy Jordan

Organizations that take project governance for granted are headed for a fall. There is one area where governance seems to be failing in many organizations, and it's perhaps surprising--the PMO. That is incredibly dangerous, and here’s why...

Project Governance: Overcoming Obstacles

by Michael Wood

One of the primary roles of the PMO is to provide a framework for ensuring proper governance over projects. Here we look at some of the obstacles and challenges facing the PMO governance function--and some tips for overcoming them.

Annual Planning in the PMO

by Andy Jordan

The PMO must have an easy time of annual planning, right? It's a service function that provides resources based on the overall project portfolio, and the organization determines which projects to approve. Based on those decisions, the PMO knows how it needs to adjust its resource model. But life’s not quite that simple...

Spring Cleaning of Applications

by Kevin Kern

Call it application sprawl, application bloat or whatever you like, most companies that rely on applications could use a good old-fashioned spring cleaning to reassess and determine which apps in a company’s portfolio provide unequivocal value and which should make a polite exit.

Project Finance: The Project Manager's Role

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Whatever the approach, mandate or processes adopted by each organization, you as the PM should be aware of the following best practices and ensure that they are adopted in one way or the other to guarantee your project’s financial transparency.

Project Portfolio Management: Real-World Observations

by Gus Cicala

The value of PPM and the priorities people place within it have seen drastic changes to go along with the dynamism of the world over the last five years. Optimal realization of portfolio ROI is now a must just to simply stay alive, whereas before it was often just treated as a nice idea that a company could do to improve its business success.

PPM in 2013: Consolidation, Change and Collaboration

by Kevin Kern

As 2012 starts to become a distant memory and companies begin implementing their 2013 plans, one CEO has spent some time reflecting on the PPM trends of 2012 and how they will continue, amplify or decrease into the new year.

A Tale of Two Perspectives (Part 2)

by Craig Curran-Morton

We've looked at the project selection process from the vantage point of an idea submitter. Now we will look at the process from the perspective of the decision makers--who are often left equally frustrated and confused.

The Value-Adds of Portfolio Management

by Andy Jordan

Some managers view PPM as nothing more than high-level project management--a service function rather than a strategic support function. But PPM is more than just project management with bigger numbers.

Committing to the Value of PPM

by Michelle Stronach

The common challenge with EPPM is that it can be perceived as a loss of control for executives and for project managers. It can also be perceived as added work for those who need to support the philosophy. This article discusses ideas for communicating value at all levels of the organization to achieve buy in, preparation and adoption of PPM concepts, processes and tools--and the skills to implement them.

The Real Role of PPM

by Andy Jordan

What is portfolio management supposed to deliver? The answer for many organizations is that it is a consolidated function that aims to provide a high-level management function of the initiatives that are underway or upcoming. But from one expert's perspective, PPM is not about managing projects or even programs. In fact, PPM is not about delivering really, it isn’t!

Project Portfolio Management: Back to Basics

by Michael Wood

Many organizations find the process of managing their portfolio of projects extremely painful. But does it have to be like that? Perhaps a return to basics is needed. Could it be that the intellectualization of the PPM process has muddied the waters a bit?

The Evolution of Annual Planning

by Andy Jordan

It's inevitable--organizations will change the way that planning cycles are executed. For many organizations, this is a natural extension of the commitments that they are already making--EPMOs, strong and executive supported portfolio management, and results-focused execution. For others, this is a major shift. Here we explore some of the ways that annual planning can be improved.

Finding Green in Our Projects

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

Adoption of LEED standards is typically framed as a means of reducing operating costs; the greater expense in designing and building sustainable facilities is offset by reduced energy consumption in future years. This becomes a theoretically easy business case that should be readily accepted: an investment in current periods providing future savings in costs. The challenge, however, is two-fold: it requires foresight and a willingness to invest in the long term, and there needs to be confidence that the promised benefits are realistic and attainable.


"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

- Chinese Proverb