Quick Guide to Selecting the Right Projects using Project Portfolio Management

Author: Ian Needs

One of the most important deliverables of a Project Portfolio Manager is to maximise the mix of projects to drive the highest possible corporate value.

Generally, projects will fall into four buckets:

  • Fill activities that have low reward but also demand little effort. These are worth doing only if you have project execution people on the bench and need something to keep them occupied.
  • Projects that require lots of effort but produce little reward. The best thing you can do is identify these early and eliminate them from the portfolio. Unfortunately, some of these can fall into the “pet projects” category which can lead to a reluctance to remove them from the portfolio. 
  • Major projects that require much effort but produce large rewards. Examples of this type of project are a product launch or implementing a major software application. You need to manage these projects carefully to make sure the business results justify the time and financial expense. 
  • The last category is our favorite – quick win projects that require relatively low effort but still reap big rewards. An example of this would be launching an existing product into a parallel marketplace. Quick Win projects make everyone look good so identify them quickly and launch them aggressively.

If you would like to find out more on how to select and prioritise projects, our previous post, 4 Step Guide to Simplifying your Portfolio Definition Processs will help you define criteria required to select the rigtht projects.