Calculating the Return from your Project Portfolio Management Investment

Author: Ian Needs

Whether implementing Project Portfolio Management software across IT, Professional Services or your PMO the investment can be significant. The great news is the benefits and payback can happen fast.

In our experience there are two key areas to focus on:

  1. Return on Investment (ROI)
  2. Return on Opportunity (ROO)

Let’s take a look at ROI. - ROI is the tangible cost savings or increases in revenue/profitability directly attributed to the deployment of the software. In most cases this results from a reduction in admin or reporting times. This also can be driven by enabling people and processes to be more effective.

One key benefit of Project Portfolio Management software is a single version of the truth, derived through greater visibility and control over people, projects, financials, deliverables, and benefits. Automation of these key processes helps deliver time savings through improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Common project and program management activities, streamlined by PPM software include:

  • Reduce Project Status Reporting
  • Simplified Assigning and Maintaining Timelines for Task Based Staffing, Planning, & Control
  • Limited Manually Searching Via Word of Mouth
  • Easy Change Management
  • Efficient Expense and Time Management

Cloud-based PPM software not only helps project and program management, but much of the focus is in increasing the productivity of delivery staff by streamlining heavy administrative tasks.

Some examples of these tasks where PPM software enables efficiency are:

  • Automated Weekly Progress and Assignment Meetings scheduled
  • Accurate Time Recording
  • Real-Time Milestone Achievement Reporting
  • Easy Prioritization/Reprioritization of Work Schedules

Now let’s look at ROO. – ROO is often what many people forget when calculating return. The ROO is the time saved through streamlining processes and allows for greater focus on additional benefits that can be achieve in the following categories:

People, Process Improvement & Productivity

  • Allocate the right people to the right projects
  • Reduce repetition through project alignment
  • Develop consistent approach


  • Embark on strategically aligned projects
  • Improve quality data and decision-making


  • Promote good practice and consistency
  • Improve data accuracy
  • Manage pro-actively not re-actively

Partner Satisfaction

  • Increase customer confidence and satisfaction by greater accuracy in deliverable
  • Manage vendors more efficiently enabling predictability in planning and partnering

Power of Information

  • Increase accuracy of management information enabling and supporting better decision-making
  • Drive accountability, improve confidence in data
  • Encourage openness, visibility and communication of decisions

The combination of both the ROI and the ROO are what should be considered when calculating the total return from your project portfolio management investment.