A Strategic Guide to Project Portfolio Management

A high performance project portfolio management process is often sought and rarely achieved. In fact, there is no practice more critical to streamline and organize the enterprise for profit – and to coordinate your resources with the strategic objectives and goals that drive its success.

Throughout this guide to project portfolio management we will explore how PPM leaders can achieve greater effectiveness in project portfolio management by taking a more strategic, business-outcome focused approach. An essential skill in today's world, where the increased pace of change caused by digital transformation demands a culture of strategy execution, increased PPM Maturity, bimodal support, plus more proactive PMOs that contribute real business value.

We will also discuss the role of project portfolio management in corporate strategy and how you can bring strategic heft to your activities. Your PMO can be the driver of greater business value among key stakeholders, gaining their trust as you take the wheel.

This in-depth project portfolio management strategy guide will help you grow and mature your effectiveness in project portfolio management. Use these solid project portfolio management disciplines and the governance structure recommended here to improve your overall portfolio decisions to forge a new agenda for your high-performance PMO.

Next Gen PPM

PPM. The PMO's Best Kept Secret 

Improve project portfolio management processes to meet today's business demands

Project portfolio management (PPM) is designed to provide organizations with the vision to create strategic plans and the capability to execute against strategic goals. Although it requires a high performance PMO function to achieve this, variables inevitably outweigh the certainties and businesses have consistently been trying to keep up. In volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments (often termed VUCA), business leaders need to stay ahead of the curve and adjust planning models to incorporate continuous change.

Next Gen PPM is built on the notion that governance models and old ways of running projects are not bad or wrong, they are simply no longer good enough. It requires teams to improve their overall portfolio management processes to meet newer, higher business demands, to focus on strategic goals and objectives, in order to drive a higher return on investment from every successful project or initiative.

If PMO leaders want to keep pace with rapid change, they also need to future-proof their models to ensure longevity. Next Gen PPM meets this challenge through a unique balance of top down, strategic portfolio management and adaptive, dynamic execution models for a business-outcome focused approach to portfolio management.

Explore these videos and resource to:

  • Understand the changing project portfolio management landscape
  • Explore the latest PPM challenges and opportunities
  • Keep up to date with the latest PPM trends and innovations
  • Align Project Execution with Business Strategy.
  • Understand the impact of Agile on Project Portfolio Management
  • Develop a strategic roadmap and future proof your project portfolio management initiatives

The Changing Project Portfolio Management Landscape

The Project Portfolio Management market is disruptive. Increased reliance on PPM creates value for the business by providing clarity and visibility into resources, projects, timelines, budgets, and more. Organizations are dependent on the PMO to cement the business’ competitive advantage through strategic portfolio prioritization and planning as well as efficient execution that is responsive to change. To cope with this intense and disruptive period of change requires a laser-sharp strategic focus. It demands innovative and proactive methods to ensure information is accurate and up to date. Discover how a strategy-first approach to project portfolio management improves business agility, ensures traditional and agile projects are tied to business-outcomes, and empowers teams to realize business strategy and drive results.

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PPM Challenges and Opportunities

Much of the information you read about PPM touts the benefits and all of the great things you can deliver with a greater use of project and portfolio management. But can it really be that simple? Regardless of your role in PPM (CIO, PMO leader, portfolio manager, resource manager, etc.), you are undoubtedly aware of the unprecedented degree of business change taking place in the industry right now and likely overwhelmed before even thinking about what more you could possibly be doing. While it is true that better PPM offers large benefits to organizations and business as a whole, that doesn’t mean it comes easy or naturally. Like many things, it requires work and a significant investment of time and resources to create the utopian state that you read about. Here we will outline some of the common challenges associated with PPM and hopefully allow leaders to anticipate and mitigate a few of those hurdles by being more informed.

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PPM Trends and Innovations

Latest market updates shape the future of project and portfolio management and have been proven to have lasting benefits. As we observe and build the future of PPM, it is helpful to look at the bigger picture of what has caught on and why it has stuck around and been widely adopted. Here are a few of the more recent trends and innovations that we have observed across PMO teams that are making strides in the industry and building the future of PPM. Ranging from the shift to digital business, significant changes in delivery models, and leveraging the PMO for Organizational Agility we are seeing a continual shift to more strategic and agile ways of working across the entire business. Find out more about these trends as well as the impact of Agile and how to build a strategic roadmap in this article.

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Mastering PPM

The Business of PPM

How you can drive maximimum impact from your PPM strategy

The practice of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is long established and proven to create business value. Over time, it has evolved to yield greater results from the efforts of the PMO and continues to adapt with the market and needs of the business.

Portfolio management has many different aspects, but mastering the key components sets the PMO up for long term success. Regardless of where you are on your PMO journey, implementing a strategy-first approach ensures you see the big picture from the top-down while also ensuring bottom-up support for the individual projects.

In this section we discuss how PPM best practices drive measurable impact for the business and build credibility for the PMO. We discuss how the centralized management of all projects and resources can resolve key PMO challenges such as resource management, program management and project team collaboration - as well as contribute to the greater mission of the PMO, and business overall.

Whether your goal is PPM excellence, business transformation, or customer success, explore how a ppm tool can help you continue to grow your project and portfolio management maturity.

Explore these resources and discover more on:

  • Designing a Project Portfolio Management Framework
  • Safeguarding Strategy
  • Applying PPM Best Practices – The six key areas
  • Empowering the Business through PPM
  • The Business Benefits of a PPM Framework

Building an Effective PPM Framework

The practice of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is long established and proven to create business value. Over time, it has evolved to yield greater results from the efforts of the PMO and continues to adapt with the market and needs of the business. PPM best practices have been battle tested to show what works in the field. This guide outlines some of the best practices that have long benefitted PPM leaders and why it is important to apply them to a strategy-driven approach for greater business value contribution. Regardless of where you are on your PPM journey, incorporating PPM best practices can improve how you deliver on business goals. Implementing a strategy-first approach ensures your organization is aligned from the top-down while also ensuring bottom-up support to deliver what needs to be done. Discover how to build an effective project portfolio management framework.

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Applying Strategy to Your PPM Maturity

Research shows that as organization's invest in project portfolio management and mature their PPM practices they deliver stronger results. It’s no surprise that where you put your focus and attention is where you will excel, but proving the value of project portfolio management and demonstrating real, tangible results is a sure way to support that effort. Organizations that are immature or lack portfolio management processes, have a higher probability of project failures and experience a multitude of problems – including dollars spent on project waste. Strategically aligning project portfolios must take into account the needs of both your PMO and your organization as a whole to be fully effective as a strategic anchor. Your PMO must work in alignment with the strategic groups and imperatives of the business to form the future profitability and ultimately the success of your organization.

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PPM Best Practices

Every business is different and every PMO is unique. There is no recipe for what size or level a PMO should be at based on the size of the organization or the amount of time the PMO has been around. What does affect the maturity and ultimately the business impact the PMO is able to produce is how well they are able to deliver on their objectives. To do that, they need to instill working models that help drive toward successful outcomes. There is no secret code to success or magic button to push that creates a high performing PMO, but there are tried and true methods for delivering real results. Best practices that have long been benefitting PMO leaders and ways to build on those best practices for further growth and advancement. By applying these best practices and consistently improving how they are implemented, the PMO can not only becoming a high functioning organization, but they will also become a trusted business partner and strategic business driver.

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PPM Selection Toolkit

Leveraging PPM to Deliver a More Valuable Portfolio

Learn 3 ways KeyedIn can help you align with the business and realize more value.

The Project Portfolio Management (PPM) market has been steadily growing year over year for the past ten + years and is expected to continue on its trajectory throughout the UK, Europe, United States and Asia Pacific – despite major changes in the various large enterprises and verticals that rely on this software.

Why is the global project portfolio management market so steady? Simply put, because these tools are effective. They provide results and offer benefits to the business that can’t be recognized otherwise. But with a mature and established market also comes complexity and confusion. What do all these buzzwords mean, which solution is right for your company, and perhaps most importantly, do these products actually do what they say they do?

This section is designed to help project management office (PMO) leaders navigate the PPM market landscape and select a vendor that is right for them. As many leaders know, evaluating and procuring a solution is a significant undertaking and not a process you want to go through twice. With careful evaluation and review, the right PPM software provider can be uncovered.

In this toolkit we explore:

    • The business of PPM
    • Key functional areas
    • The benefits of project portfolio management
    • Price vs ROI
    • How to run a PPM evaluation

The Business and Benefits of PPM

The benefits of PPM are clear: increased efficiency, improved effectiveness, and measurable business impact. PPM enables the PMO to move beyond execution-focused results and simply managing on-time and on-budget project metrics to strategic-driven selection for measurable results. This doesn’t mean foregoing focus on execution and tactics, rather building on these methods to improve outcomes. Strategic PMOs must create a culture that is results-driven and impact focused. PPM can help answer critical business questions that benefit the bottom line. What work are we doing? Who is doing it? How long does it take? How much does it cost? These might sound trivial on the outset but getting real, reliable answers is not as easy as it sounds. Visibility is key for business leaders and the level of information they are equipped with can help determine the degree of success. In order to make changes, drive results, and deliver on promises, these questions need to be addressed.

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The PPM Evaluation Process

Evaluating and procuring project portfolio management has different milestones for different organizations but there are some commonalities in the process that help business leaders understand what the value is and what due diligence has been done. These might include, but are not limited to, market research, vendor interviews, internal debriefs, shortlist of vendors, securing funding, and finally negotiating and contract. This is all before the implementation and go-live with the system, of course, and requires a level of careful planning and execution. Not unlike a project, evaluations typically have a timeline, budget, stakeholders, and milestones. But like a project, it is important to scope and outline what those key milestones are to ensure a successful PPM implementation.

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The Project Portfolio Management ROI

Budget is typically the first place teams start when evaluating any software and PPM is no different. What is the price? Many people get frustrated when they don’t get a straight answer to this question or the pricing requires explaining. What is important to remember is that price isn’t everything – the underlying question is what is the ROI. The higher the price, the higher the ROI expectations and the bigger the risk of taking on a new solution. While price plays a role, and can help compare different solutions to a baseline, the real value of the solution, and all your effort to obtain one, lie in the value it will bring to your organization.

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Building the Business Case for PPM

The Business Case for Project Portfolio Management

How to Secure Funding for Project Portfolio Management.

PPM software is a big investment for any project management office (PMO) of both time and money. The investment up front of building a business case and carefully selecting the right solution for your team can save you a lot of headache down the line.

Use these resource and articles to understand what is entailed in purchasing software and give you the answers you need to find the right one for your team.

Most reasons for investing in project portfolio management can be simplified into three categories: increase revenue, cut costs, or mitigate risks. It is important to note how project portfolio management tools support at least one of these areas, and ensure your budget is investing in areas that support the business.

The elements of a business case include involving key stakeholders, establishing a timeline, defining the PMOs purpose, outlining budget expectations, garnering executive buy-in, calculating risks, doing market research, identifying key features, and setting expectations of benefits and ROI. This business case model has been developed from extensive years of research and partnership with PMO leaders that have been the basis of business case justifications for many PPM purchases.

In this section we will explore:

    • How to secure funding for project portfolio management (PPM)
    • Laying the foundations - Defining the PMO Purpose
    • Building the Business Case for PPM
    • How to gather your RFI requirments

Secure Funding for Project Portfolio Management

Building a business case for PPM requires a number of steps to cover all areas. For some teams the steps are straightforward or given, for others it requires more support and buy-in. Creating an outline for how to build the business case can be much like managing a project with the end goal of procuring funding for a software purchase. While not all organizations require the extensiveness of a complete business case, in many instances outlining these key components helps with implementation and adoption of a solution. Explore the key steps to building a business case framework.

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