Project Management

Learning From Your Uncle Sam

Since 1994, the U.S. federal government has viewed the use of portfolio management as a critical tool by which government organizations can select, control and evaluate information technology projects. The General Accounting Office and other government entities have examined the benefits of portfolio management, especially the 1998 report Executive Guide: Measuring Performance and Demonstrating Results in Information Technology Investments (Report No. AIMD-98-89). In this report, portfolio management is described as one of four key enterprise objectives that will help organizations manage and measure the performance of their IT projects.


Portfolio management became further entrenched in 2002 with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) revision of OMB Circular A-130 on the Management of Federal Information Resources. In this circular, the OMB clearly directs agencies to consider portfolio management for their IT efforts:


Agencies should also weigh the relative benefits of proposed investments in information technology across the agency. Given the fiscal constraints facing the Federal government in the upcoming years, agencies should fund a portfolio of investments across the agency that maximizes return on investment for the agency as a whole. Agencies should also emphasize those proposed investments that show the greatest probability (i.e., display the …

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