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Project Portfolio Management December 8, 2006

Posted by Eric Brown in Project Management, Strategic Project Management.

According to Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin, Project Portfolio Management (PPM) should be something that every project manager should embrace…and I agree. According to Jeannette, there are 3 reasons to embrace PPM:

  1. PPM brings realism to an organization’s planning processes.
  2. PPM brings rationality in the allocation of resources, both human and financial.
  3. PPM brings visibility to project work and project people.

Jeanette’s article is one of the best arguments for PPM I’ve read in quite some time…I’d suggest everyone spend a few minutes to read the article.

For those of you don’t know what PPM is, here’s a basic primer on the topic:

In recent years, PPM has become a methodology for selecting projects that are well-aligned and prioritized. Callahan & Brooks (2004) have defined PPM as “the use of the appropriate management knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to maximize the alignment of the company’s project portfolio” (Callahan & Brooks, 2004, p. 178).Winters (2005) described PPM slightly different when he wrote “PPM is an approach to the management of groups of projects that treats them as investments” (Winters, 2005, p. 1).As can be seen from these definitions, PPM consists of selecting, balancing and prioritizing projects to ensure optimal value for an organization.PPM is a valuable tool for any organization and can provide many benefits, such as:

  • Allows for the selection the proper projects according to company strategy.
  • Balances all projects being undertaken by the company to ensure optimal resource usage.
  • Optimizes projects to ensure maximum value to the company.
  • Quantifies the project benefits in financial terms (Winters, p. 1).
  • Identifies and manages risks (Winters, p. 1).

The benefits of PPM outlined above can provide tremendous value to an organization by allowing the proper selection of strategically aligned projects, optimal resource allocation, project utilization and maximized value to the organization.

While using PPM principles to select projects provides a lot of very good benefits, one of the most important aspects of implementing PPM principles is that Return on Investment (ROI) and other financial measurements can be used to track project status and determine if the project(s) is/are creating value for the organization. Using financial measures such as ROI can provide immediate insight into the status of a project, which allows better executive decisions related to the optimal usage of resources within the company.


  • Callahan, K., & Brooks, L. (2004). Essentials of strategic project management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Winters, F. (2005, February 16). Project portfolio management: A primer (part 1). Retrieved October 20, 2006, from http://www.gantthead.com/article.cfm?ID=222787


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1. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Web Blog » Embracing Project Portfolio Management - December 14, 2006

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