Project Management

3 Critical Inputs to Portfolio Management

Ted Stephens

The central task of IT portfolio management is the analysis of all projects and applications, yielding recommendations that inform decisionmakers about continuing, adding, or scaling back projects. Corporate planning, periodic business reviews and ongoing data collection are all critical inputs to the portfolio management process.

IT portfolio management is the practice of treating information technology investments as a portfolio of assets, which, like any financial investment portfolio, need to be periodically evaluated. The successful contribution of IT to a company’s business goals depends on keeping the portfolio balanced in terms of risk and return. The team responsible for portfolio management may exist within a company’s project management office (PMO), if there is one; alternatively, the team may be drawn from the Finance group or the CIO’s office.
 
The central task of portfolio management is portfolio analysis: an ongoing evaluation of all projects and applications, leading to recommendations about the best mix of higher-risk/ higher-payoff projects and lower-risk/lower-payoff projects. Portfolio management entails the day-to-day tracking of IT projects — what they are, their status, and other information needed by the company’s leaders for making informed decisions about the portfolio.
 
Three organization-wide processes …

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