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Project Portfolio Management icon

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

Time is money; spend it wisely.

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  • Kiron Bondale, EPMO Senior Manager, TD Canada Trust
  • Shaun Cahill & Jim Carse, Project Manager & Director of the Project Portfolio Office, Queen's University
  • Amy Fowler Stadler, Managing Partner, Lewis & Fowler
  • Rick A. Morris, President, R2 Consulting LLC
  • Terry Ricci, PPM Practice Lead, IAG Consulting
  • Alana Ruckstuhl, IT Project Officer, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Jay Wardle, Director of the PMO, Red Wing Shoes Co
  • Bob White, CIO, ALM Holding Company
  • Plus eight anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • As an IT leader, you oversee a project environment in which the organizational demand for new products, services, and enhancements far outweighs IT’s resource capacity to adequately deliver on everything.
  • As a result, project throughput suffers. IT starts a lot of projects, but has constant difficulties delivering the bulk of them on time, on budget, in scope, and of high quality. What’s more, many of the projects that consume IT’s time are of questionable value to the business.
  • You need a project portfolio management (PPM) strategy to help bring order to IT’s project activity. With the right PPM strategy, you can ensure that you’re driving the throughput of the best projects and maximizing stakeholder satisfaction with IT.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • IT leaders commonly conflate PPM and project management, falsely believing that they already have a PPM strategy via their project management playbook. While the tactical focus of project management can help ensure that individual projects are effectively planned, executed, and closed, it is no supplement for the insight into “the big picture” that a PPM strategy can provide.
  • Many organizations falter at PPM by mistaking a set of processes for a strategy. While processes are no doubt important, without an end in mind – such as that provided by a deliberate strategy – they inevitably devolve into inertia or confusion.
  • Executive layer buy-in is a critical prerequisite for the success of a PPM strategy. Without it, any efforts to reconcile supply and demand, and improve the strategic value of IT’s project activity, could be quashed by irresponsible, non-compliant stakeholders.

Impact and Result

  • Manage the portfolio as more than just the sum of its parts. Create a coherent strategy to maximize the sum of values that projects deliver as a whole – as a project portfolio, rather than a collection of individual projects.
  • Get to value early. Info-Tech’s methodology tackles one of PPM’s most pressing challenges upfront by helping you to articulate a strategy and get executive buy-in for it before you define your process goals. When senior management understands why a PPM strategy is necessary and of value to them, the path to implementation is much more stable.
  • Create PPM processes you can sustain. Translate your PPM strategy into to specific, tangible near-term and long-term goals, which are realized through a suite of project portfolio management processes tailored to your organization and its culture.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should develop a project portfolio management strategy, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Get executive buy-in for your PPM strategy

Choose the right PPM strategy for your organization and get executive buy-in before you start to set PPM process goals.

2. Align PPM processes to your strategic goals

Use the advice and tools in this phase to align the PPM processes that make up the infrastructure around projects with your new PPM strategy.

3. Complete your PPM strategic plan

Refine your PPM strategic plan with inputs from the previous phases by adding a cost-benefit analysis and PPM tool recommendation.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Get executive buy-in for your PPM strategy

Call #1 - Scoping call: discuss the current state of PPM and review strategy options.
Call #2 - Understand how to wireframe realistic process goals, rooted in your PPM strategic expectations, that will be sustained by the organization.

Guided Implementation #2 - Align PPM processes to your strategic goals

Call #1 - Examine your current-state PPM process and create a high-level description of the target-state process for each of the five PPM processes (1-2 calls per process).

Guided Implementation #3 - Complete your PPM strategic plan

Call #1 - Assess your PPM tool requirements to help support your processes.
Call #2 - Determine the costs and potential benefits of your PPM practice.

Info-Tech Academy

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Portfolio Management Course

Time is money; spend it wisely.
This course makes up part of the PPM & Projects Certificate.

Course information:

  • Title: Portfolio Management Course
  • Number of Course Modules: 4
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Barry Cousins, Sr. Research Director, Applications Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP of Research and Advisory
  • Now Playing: Academy: Portfolio Management | Executive Brief

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Get Executive Buy-In for Your PPM Strategy

The Purpose

  • Choose the right PPM strategy for your organization and ensure executive buy-in.
  • Set process goals to address PPM strategic expectations and steer the PPM strategic plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A right-sized PPM strategy complete with executive buy-in for it.
  • A prioritized list of PPM process goals.




Assess leadership mandate.

  • Choice of PPM strategy and the leadership mandate

Determine potential resource capacity.

  • Analysis of current project capacity

Create a project inventory.

  • Analysis of current project demand

Prepare to communicate your PPM strategy to key stakeholders.

  • PPM Strategic Plan – Executive Brief

Translate each strategic goal into process goals.

  • PPM strategy-aligned process goals

Set metrics and preliminary targets for PPM process goals.

  • Metrics and long-term targets for PPM process goals

Module 2: Align PPM Processes to Your Strategic Goals

The Purpose

  • Examine your current-state PPM processes and create a high-level description of the target-state process for each of the five PPM processes within Info-Tech’s PPM framework.
  • Build a sound business case for implementing the new PPM strategy by documenting roles and responsibilities for key PPM activities as well as the time costs associated with them.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Near-term and long-term goals as well as an organizationally specific wireframe for your PPM processes.
  • Time cost assumptions for your proposed processes to ensure sustainability.




Develop and refine the project intake, prioritization, and approval process.

  • Process capability level

Develop and refine the resource management process.

  • Current-state PPM process description

Develop and refine the portfolio reporting process.

  • Retrospective examination of the current-state PPM process

Develop and refine the project closure process

  • Action items to achieve the target states

Develop and refine the benefits realization process.

  • Time cost of the process at current and target states

Module 3: Complete Your PPM Strategic Plan

The Purpose

  • Perform a PPM tool analysis in order to determine the right tool to support your processes.
  • Estimate the total cost-in-use of managing the project portfolio, as well as the estimated benefits of an optimized PPM strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A right-sized tool selection to help support your PPM strategy.
  • A PPM strategy cost-benefit analysis.




Right-size the PPM tools for your processes.

  • Recommendation for a PPM tool

Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of implementing the new PPM strategy.

  • Cost-benefit analysis

Define roles and responsibilities for the new processes.

  • Roles and responsibilities matrix for each PPM process

Refine and consolidate the near-term action items into a cohesive plan.

  • An implementation timeline for your PPM strategy

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.


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ArcBest Technologies



The best aspect of this workshop was helping us get a better picture of how a PPM product needed to be implemented within the company as well as the change management required to be successful. Being able to tailor the workshop discussion based on our environment was invaluable. By providing a consistent platform of project management skills to build from, we have laid the necessary foundation for success on our tier one projects. This consistency will encourage better feedback to our customers on how their projects are progressing as well as identifying any risks or obstacles that need to be addressed as they arise along the way.

BHP Billiton Canada Inc.



Barry's knowledge, experience and organic approach to the workshop ensured our expectations were exceeded. All workshops requirements were met but we had the added advantage of cementing inter-team relationships by ensuring we were all understanding the rationale and supporting the go-forward approach for our PPM Strategy.


Facilitator(s) effectiveness

INFO & materials effectiveness

Overall experience

Understanding of next steps


CA Dept of Toxic Substances Control





I am writing on behalf of Vince Londini regarding his recent presentation of the Info-Tech Portfolio Management Workshop. For each day of the workshop, Vince always took the initiative to ensure his pre-work was done exceptionally well and all information covered in the previous day was carried to the new day. He also made sure he was thoroughly prepared to participate at length in workshop discussions and challenged participants to think critically. Vince is a pleasure to work with because his pleasant and positive attitude can make nearly any work seem fun and interesting. With Vince's relentless motivation and his in-depth understanding of Information Technology disciplines, Vince would bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to any organization.

BHP Billiton Canada Inc.





South State Bank










Towson University





Museum of Fine Arts, Boston





Ameren Services Company, Inc