The Value-Adds of Portfolio Management

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I recently spoke with an executive who had implemented a project portfolio management function in their organization and was unsure how to fully leverage the investment. He was pleased with the results that they had seen so far--improvements in resource utilization, more accurate and timely status reporting, better visibility into benefits realization and fewer “rogue” projects--but he was unsure of how to further leverage the function and was looking for more ideas. He was starting to involve PPM in the portfolio selection and approval process, but there was still some resistance coming from department heads who felt that they were the ones that needed to drive the decisions and that portfolio management was a service provider.

It strikes me that this is not an uncommon situation for organizations to find themselves in--they have made the decision to invest in PPM, and they are starting to see some benefits. At the same time, they still have a tendency to view portfolio management as nothing more than high-level project management (especially if it’s IT focused) and as such it is considered to be a service function rather than a strategic support function.

In this article, I want to look at some of the areas that portfolio management can help an organization to manage--business elements that will clearly position PPM as more than just project …

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"I am not young enough to know everything."

- Oscar Wilde