Project Management

Strategic Portfolio Management

Patti Gilchrist, PMP, is a Senior Technical Manager with more than 20 years of IT experience. Visit her website at

When used effectively, project portfolio management can increase the perception of IT’s value to the organization. In simplistic terms, PPM provides an extensive, centralized view of projects that enables decision makers to achieve maximized return on investment.

To understand how a PPM can demonstrate the value of IT to the business, we must consider the benefits of a mature PPM. Refined PPM processes ensure that project investments are well positioned in terms of projected payoff; exposes projects that are redundant, too costly or too risky; and reveals opportunities to shift focus from potential failing or low-valued efforts to higher-potential efforts with increased ROI.    

So what can PMOs do to ensure that PPM processes are increasing IT’s value to the business?  

Effectively align the PMO within the organization
When we think of PPM, we typically think of strategically aligning projects to the business. We may less often think about how the PMO itself fits into the organizational structure or how such a structure might impact the PMO’s effectiveness.

However, a recent Forrester Research-Project Management Institute survey found that PMOs reporting structure can impact the perception of IT’s value (

  • PMOs reporting to VPs of IT have the most difficult time proving their value.
  • PMOs …

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