What is Project Portfolio Management?

A key tool to choosing where to invest your capital


Project portfolio management is the standardized practice of managing all the projects in an organization. As such, PPM plays a highly strategic role within the enterprise. Some of the most important activities carried out by project portfolio professionals are selecting and prioritizing projects that support strategic goals; ensuring adequate human resources staffing and management; setting up and governing the use of sanctioned methods; instruments and technologies; monitoring and evaluating projects, as well as communicating and supporting project teams with regard to obstacles and dependencies. Deciding which projects move forward, need rework or are sidelined requires taking into account many variables such as client requests, industry regulations, and company guidelines. 


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PPM is very much a high level practice. It necessitates only an overview of the projects that are currently underway or under proposal, since its aim is not to ensure the health of any one project in particular, but rather a healthy ecosystem of projects. The discipline designs the paths and then makes certain they are followed as closely as possible, which means the direction of action is from the top to the base. A mature project portfolio management practice relies on some key analytical tools as well as a well-defined set of common evaluation criteria to allow for project arbitration and project-to-strategy alignment. For instance, project portfolio managers will commonly employ criteria such as decision tree analysis, categorization, maturity models and risk/reward analysis.

To deal with the high requirements of adequately running a PPM practice, iServer helps professionals with a number of great capabilities. To begin with, the platform offers access to a central repository that acts as a single, unified location for storing and managing the company’s projects. It also gives users the ability to capture and import updated project information and conduct impact analysis for project costs or change, financial forecasts, cost-benefit analysis, and demand forecasting. iServer's Impact Analysis Visualizations tool lets professionals navigate the network of dependencies expertly, while also producing valuable graphical representations of relationships between different areas of the company.

Enhanced views is a somewhat similar area of functionality that enables PPM professionals to explore what capabilities projects require, the way they tie into the objectives etc. Generating roadmaps for project implementation across a timeframe is also possible. Users can share these with desired stakeholders across a variety of communication modules, such as HTML Publisher, Portal and others. For keeping upper management well informed, iServer offers PPM professionals the ability to create customized reports and dashboards that clarify the portfolio’s level of business alignment and highlight areas that need to be taken under reconsideration because of failing key metrics.

When PPM is done right, the entire organization benefits – project team members are up to date on the latest developments, executives are aware of the managers in charge so they know whom to contact for information, and project managers are informed as to the personnel task allocation. Project portfolio management is a key practice in all organizations that are over a certain size because it allows for the creation of an all-around more productive business.

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