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Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

Drive IT project throughput by throttling resource capacity.

  • 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 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.

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy 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.


Member Testimonials

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.

9.3/10


Overall Impact

$121,716


Average $ Saved

36


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Public Safety Canada

Workshop

9/10

$50,000

23

Best parts were that Bill is super knowledgeable, patient and overall, just a nice person. He was able to quickly adapt to our culture and underst... Read More

Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology

Guided Implementation

10/10

$32,499

50

The best part is the valuable interactions around the tools and templates. The tools and templates alone without the guidance and support would hav... Read More

Oregon Military Department

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

10

The whole package was useful and the time that was spent working through it together made it easy to adapt to our business needs.

Starkey Hearing Technologies

Workshop

10/10

$71,499

50

Bill is an exceptional facilitator and is a subject matter expert.

Community Living Toronto

Workshop

9/10

$23,500

60

The sessions were very engaging and the team loved being pulled into various discussions. Doug did a great job poking around and challenging the s... Read More

State of Kansas Human Services

Workshop

10/10

$129K

90

Kansas Department of Transportation

Workshop

8/10

$61,749

47

I really liked how Bill was able to get our executive staff engaged in the conversation. He did a great job of understanding our current state, an... Read More

New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation

Workshop

10/10

$649K

120

Best: interaction and facilitation that Bill so expertly provided, ability to lead the group through the discussion to draw out the specific and a... Read More

Institute of Public Accountants

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

2

Annabel is always extremely helpful she takes time to listen then helps work things through with me.

Harris County

Workshop

10/10

N/A

N/A

The workshop delivery, deliverables, participation and discussion.

ATC

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Too early to determine if savings will be gained.

Oneida Nation

Workshop

10/10

$64,999

20

The onsite workshop on project portfolio management was an engaging and informative experience that provided valuable insights into effectively man... Read More

Stratascale

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

20

Ipsen Pharma SAS

Workshop

9/10

$32,499

5

Knowledge and experience of the facilitator. Paul shared many examples of tools and techniques that could be re-used. Time and financial i... Read More

Gwinnett County

Workshop

10/10

$649K

120

Bill was an excellent facilitator and steered challenging discussions to positive and productive outcomes on more than one occasion. You can tell h... Read More

VGM Group, Inc.

Workshop

10/10

$12,999

20

Best - Getting agreement on using the suggested approach shared in the workshop by key stakeholders that were in attendance. Worst - Getting c... Read More

Westoba Credit Union Limited

Workshop

9/10

$95,000

20

Best - the guided discussions really helped our team narrow the current issues into a set of actionable next steps that are attainable. Worst - I... Read More

Northeast Community College

Workshop

9/10

$61,749

10

Was all great.

Orange County Clerk of Courts, FL

Workshop

9/10

N/A

N/A

Bill is a very skilled consultant. I appreciated that we worked on customizing the tools as a team. Bill flexed some of the agenda to fit our spec... Read More

Gallagher

Guided Implementation

8/10

$12,856

10

Lane Transit District

Workshop

10/10

$12,999

20

Bill is very knowledgable and has a great presentation style. Activities were engaging and informative. Overall the content was highly valuable. Wh... Read More

Coca-Cola Sabco (Pty) Ltd

Workshop

10/10

$32,499

20

Great facilitator, excellent content and well structured. No negative points at all.

Centric Consulting

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

Really helped me to better understand the objectives, approaches, and tools for developing a strategy.

Mt. San Antonio College

Workshop

10/10

N/A

35

Great workshop. I have received very positive feedback and the team is excited to move forward and adopt some of the strategies developed in the wo... Read More

Washington State Department of Ecology

Workshop

9/10

N/A

20

Best = Bill is an excellent facilitator. He handled a tough audience with great skill and helped us to a good workshop outcome. Worst = As the ... Read More

City of Savannah

Guided Implementation

8/10

$2,519

10

City of Fort Lauderdale

Workshop

10/10

$125K

50

My training experience taking the PPM Strategy course with Info-tech was excellent. Bill was very knowledgable with the subject matter, provided ex... Read More

The Shyft Group

Guided Implementation

10/10

$88,199

65

Best --> Understanding the tools and how they can be applied to our company. This exercise brought forth important reminders and were paramount in... Read More

US Senate

Workshop

10/10

$22,749

10

Bill Holliday did a fantastic job in the workshop and helped us shape the resulted outputs of every day’s session. He was interactive and very appr... Read More

Atrium Health

Workshop

8/10

$129K

47


Portfolio Management

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

Now Playing:
Academy: Portfolio Management | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 4
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Barry Cousins, Sr. Research Director, Applications Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP of Research and Advisory

Workshop: Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

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 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.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Assess leadership mandate.

  • Choice of PPM strategy and the leadership mandate
1.2

Determine potential resource capacity.

  • Analysis of current project capacity
1.3

Create a project inventory.

  • Analysis of current project demand
1.4

Prepare to communicate your PPM strategy to key stakeholders.

  • PPM Strategic Plan – Executive Brief
1.5

Translate each strategic goal into process goals.

  • PPM strategy-aligned process goals
1.6

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.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

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

  • Process capability level
2.2

Develop and refine the resource management process.

  • Current-state PPM process description
2.3

Develop and refine the portfolio reporting process.

  • Retrospective examination of the current-state PPM process
2.4

Develop and refine the project closure process

  • Action items to achieve the target states
2.5

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.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Right-size the PPM tools for your processes.

  • Recommendation for a PPM tool
3.2

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

  • Cost-benefit analysis
3.3

Define roles and responsibilities for the new processes.

  • Roles and responsibilities matrix for each PPM process
3.4

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

  • An implementation timeline for your PPM strategy

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

Drive IT project throughput by throttling resource capacity.

Analyst Perspective

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzŭ

"Organizations typically come to project portfolio management (PPM) with at least one of two misconceptions: (1) that PPM is synonymous with project management and (2) that a collection of PPM processes constitutes a PPM strategy.

Both foundations are faulty: project management and PPM are separate disciplines with distinct goals and processes, and a set of processes do not comprise a strategy – they should flow from a strategy, not precede one. When built upon these foundations, the benefits of PPM go unrealized, as the means (i.e. project and portfolio processes) commonly eclipse the ends of a PPM strategy – e.g. a portfolio better aligned with business goals, improved project throughput, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and so on.

Start with the end in mind: articulate a PPM strategy that is truly project portfolio in nature, i.e. focused on the whole portfolio and not just the individual parts. Then, let your PPM strategy guide your process goals and help to drive successful outcomes, project after project." (Barry Cousins, Senior Director of Research, PMO Practice, Info-Tech Research Group)

Our understanding of the problem

This Research Is Designed For:

  • CIOs who want to maximize IT’s fulfillment of both business strategic goals and operational needs.
  • CIOs who want to better manage the business and project sponsors’ expectations and satisfaction.
  • CIOs, PMO directors, and portfolio managers who want a strategy to set the best projects for the highest chance of success.

This Research Will Help You:

  • Get C-level buy-in on a strategy for managing the project portfolio and clarify their expectations on how it should be managed.
  • Draft strategy-aligned, high-level project portfolio management process description.
  • Put together a strategic plan for improving PPM processes to reclaim wasted project capacity and increase business satisfaction of IT.

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • Steering committee and C-suite management who want to maximize IT’s value to business.
  • Project sponsors who seek clarity and fairness on pushing their projects through a myriad of priorities and objectives.
  • CIOs, PMO directors, and portfolio managers who want to enable data-driven decisions from the portfolio owners.

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Optimize IT’s added value to the business through project delivery.
  • Provide clarity on how IT’s project portfolio should be managed and the expectations for its management.
  • Improve project portfolio visibility by making trustworthy project portfolio data available, with which to steer the portfolio.

Executive Summary

Situation

  • As CIO, there are too many projects and not enough resource capacity to deliver projects on time, on budget, and in scope with high quality.
  • Prioritizing projects against one another is difficult in the face of conflicting priorities and agenda; therefore, projects with dubious value/benefits consume resource capacity.

Complication

  • Not all IT projects carry a direct value to business; IT is accountable for keeping the lights on and it consumes a significant amount of resources.
  • Business and project sponsors approve projects without considering the scarcity of resource capacity and are frustrated when the projects fail to deliver or linger in the backlog.

Resolution

  • Create a coherent strategy to maximize the total value that projects deliver as a whole portfolio, rather than a collection of individual projects.
  • Ensure that the steering committee or senior executive layer buys into the strategy by helping them understand why the said strategy is necessary, and more importantly, why the strategy is valuable to them.
  • Translate the strategic expectations to specific, tangible goals, which are realized through a suite of project portfolio management processes tailored to your organization and its culture.
  • Putting into place people, processes, and tools that are sustainable and manageable, plus a communication strategy to maintain the stakeholder buy-in.

Info-Tech Insight

  1. Time is money; therefore, the portfolio manager is an accountant of time. It is the portfolio manager’s responsibility to provide the project portfolio owners with reliable data and close the loop on portfolio decisions.
  2. Business satisfaction is driven by delivering projects that align to and maximize business value. Use Info-Tech’s method for developing a PPM strategy and synchronize its definition of “best projects” with yours.

Projects that deliver on strategic goals of the business is the #1 driver of business satisfaction for IT

Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Survey (N=21,367) has identified a direct correlation between IT project success and overall business satisfaction with IT.

Comparative rankings of IT services in two columns 'Reported Importance' and 'Actual Importance' with arrows showing where each service moved to in the 'Actual Importance' ranking. The highlighted move is 'Projects' from number 10 in 'Reported' to number 1 in 'Actual'. 'Reported' rankings from 1 to 12 are 'Network Infrastructure', 'Service Desk', 'Business Applications', 'Data Quality', Devices', 'Analytical Capability', 'Client-Facing Technology', 'Work Orders', 'Innovation Leadership', 'Projects', 'IT Policies', and 'Requirements Gathering'. 'Actual' rankings from 1 to 12 are 'Projects', 'Work Orders', 'Innovation Leadership', 'Business Applications', 'Requirements Gathering', 'Service Desk', 'Client-Facing Technology', 'Network Infrastructure', 'Analytical Capability', 'Data Quality', 'IT Policies', and 'Devices'.

Reported Importance: Initially, when CIOs were asked to rank the importance of IT services, respondents ranked “projects” low on the list – 10 out of a possible 12.

Actual Importance: Despite this low “reported importance,” of those organizations that were “satisfied” to “fully satisfied” with IT, the service that had the strongest correlation to high business satisfaction was “projects,” i.e. IT’s ability to help plan, support, and execute projects and initiatives that help the business achieve its strategic goals.

On average, executives perceive IT as being poorly aligned with business strategy

Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Survey data highlights the importance of IT projects in supporting the business achieve its strategic goals. However, Info-Tech’s CEO-CIO Alignment Survey (N=124) data indicates that CEOs perceive IT to be poorly aligned to business’ strategic goals:

  • 43% of CEOs believe that business goals are going unsupported by IT.
  • 60% of CEOs believe that improvement is required around IT’s understanding of business goals.
  • 80% of CIOs/CEOs are misaligned on the target role for IT.
  • 30% of business stakeholders* are supporters of their IT departments.
  • (Source: Info-Tech CIO/CEO Alignment Diagnostics, * N=32,536)

Efforts to deliver on projects are largely hampered by causes of project failure outside a project manager’s control

The most recent data from the Project Management Institute (PMI) shows that more projects are meeting their original goals and business intent and less projects are being deemed failures. However, at the same time, more projects are experiencing scope creep. Scope creeps result in schedule and cost overrun, which result in dissatisfied project sponsors, stakeholders, and project workers.

Graph of data from Project Management Institute comparing projects from 2015 to 2017 that 'Met original goals/business intent', 'Experienced scope creep', and were 'Deemed failures'. Projects from the first two categories went up in 2017, while projects that were deemed failures went down.

Meanwhile, the primary causes of project failures remain largely unchanged. Interestingly, most of these primary causes can be traced to sources outside of a project manager’s control, either entirely or in part. As a result, project management tactics and processes are limited in adequately addressing them.

Relative rank

Primary cause of project failure

2015

2016

2017

Trend

Change in organization's priorities 1st 1st 1st Stable
Inaccurate requirements gathering 2nd 3rd 2nd Stable
Change in project objectives 3rd 2nd 3rd Stable
Inadequate vision/goal for project 6th 5th 4th Rising
Inadequate/poor communication 5th 7th 5th Stable
Poor change management 11th 9th 6th Rising
(Source: Project Management Institute, Pulse of the Profession, 2015-2017)

Project portfolio management (PPM) can improve business alignment of projects and reduce chance of project failure

PPM is about “doing the right things.”

The PMI describes PPM as:

Interrelated organizational processes by which an organization evaluates, selects, prioritizes, and allocates its limited internal resources to best accomplish organizational strategies consistent with its vision, mission, and values. (PMI, Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd ed.)

Selecting and prioritizing projects with the strongest alignment to business strategy goals and ensuring that resources are properly allocated to deliver them, enable IT to:

  1. Improve business satisfaction and their perception of IT’s alignment with the business.
  2. Better engage the business and the project customers.
  3. Minimize the risk of project failure due to changing organizational/ project vision, goals, and objectives.

"In today’s competitive business environment, a portfolio management process improves the linkage between corporate strategy and the selection of the ‘right’ projects for investment. It also provides focus, helping to ensure the most efficient and effective use of available resources." (Lou Pack, PMP, Senior VP, ICF International (PMI, 2015))

PPM is a common area of shortcomings for IT, with much room for improvement

Info-Tech’s IT Management & Governance Survey (N=879) shows that PPM tends to be regarded as neither an effective nor an important process amongst IT organizations.

Two deviation from median charts highlighting Portfolio Management's ranking compared to other IT processes in 'Effectiveness scores' and 'Importance scores'. PPM ranks 37th out of 45 in Effectiveness and 33rd out of 45 in Importance.

55% ... of IT organizations believe that their PPM processes are neither effective nor important.

21% ... of IT organizations reported having no one responsible or accountable for PPM.

62% ... of projects in organizations effective in PPM met/exceeded the expected ROI (PMI, 2015).

In addition to PPM’s benefits, improving PPM processes presents an opportunity for getting ahead of the curve in the industry.

Info-Tech’s methodology for developing a PPM strategy delivers extraordinary value, fast

Our methodology is designed to tackle your hardest challenge first to deliver the highest-value part of the deliverable. For developing a PPM strategy, the biggest challenge is to get the buy-in of the executive layer.

"Without senior management participation, PPM doesn’t work, and the organization is likely to end up with, or return to, a squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease mindset for all those involved." (Mark Price Perry, Business Driven Project Portfolio Management)

In the first step of the blueprint, you will be guided through the following steps:

  1. Choose the right PPM strategy: driven by the executives, supported by management.
  2. Objectively assess your current project portfolio with minimal effort to build a case for the PPM strategy.
  3. Engage the executive layer to get the critical prerequisite of a PPM strategy: their buy-in.

A PPM strategic plan is the end deliverable of this blueprint. In the first step, download the pre-filled template with content that represents the most common case. Then, throughout the blueprint, customize with your data.

Use this blueprint to develop, or refine, a PPM strategy that works for your organization

Get buy-in for PPM strategy from decision makers.

Buy-in from the owners of project portfolio (Steering Committee, C-suite management, etc.) is a critical prerequisite for any PPM strategy. This blueprint will give you the tools and templates to help you make your case and win the buy-in of portfolio owners.

Connect strategic expectations to PPM process goals.

This blueprint offers a methodology to translate the broad aim of PPM to practical, tactical goals of the five core PPM processes, as well as how to measure the results. Our methodology is supported with industry-leading frameworks, best practices, and our insider research.

Develop your PPM processes.

This blueprint takes you through a series of steps to translate the process goals into a high-level process description, as well as a business case and a roadmap for implementing the new PPM processes.

Refine your PPM processes.

Our methodology is also equally as applicable for making your existing PPM processes better, and help you draft a roadmap for improvement with well-defined goals, roles, and responsibilities.

Info-Tech’s PPM model consists of five core processes

There are five core processes in Info-Tech’s thought model for PPM.

Info-Tech's Process Model detailing the steps and their importance in project portfolio management. Step 3: 'Status and Progress Reporting' sits above the others as a process of importance throughout the model. In the 'Intake' phase of the model are Step 1: 'Intake, Approval, and Prioritization' and Step 2: 'Resource Management'. In the 'Execution' phase is 'Project Management', the main highlighted section, and a part of Step 3, the overarching 'Status and Progress Reporting'. In the 'Closure' phase of the model are Step 4: 'Project Closure' and Step 5: 'Benefits Tracking'.

These processes create an infrastructure around projects, which aims to enable:

  1. Initiation of the “best” projects with the right resources and project information.
  2. Timely and trustworthy reporting to facilitate the flow of information for better decision making.
  3. Proper closure of projects, releasing resources, and managing benefits realization.

PPM has many moving pieces. To ensure that all of these processes work in harmony, you need a PPM strategy.

De-couple project management from PPM to break down complexity and create flexibility

Tailor project management (PM) processes to fit your projects.

Info-Tech’s PPM thought model enables you to manage your project portfolio independent of your PM methodology or capability. Projects interact with PPM via:

  • A project charter that authorizes the use of resources and defines project benefits.
  • Status reports that feed up-to-date, trustworthy data to your project portfolio.
  • Acceptance of deliverables that enable proper project closure and benefits reporting.

Info-Tech’s PPM strategy is applicable whether you use Agile, waterfall, or anything in between for PM.

The process model from the previous page but with project management processes overlaid. The 'Intake' phase is covered by 'Project Charter'. The 'Execution' phase, or 'Project Management' is covered by 'Status report'. The 'Closure' phase is covered by 'Deliverable Acceptance'.

Learn about project management approach for small projects in Info-Tech’s Tailor PM Processes to Fit Your Projects blueprint.

Sample of the Info-Tech blueprint 'Tailor PM Processes to Fit Your Projects'.

Info-Tech’s approach to PPM is informed by industry best practices and rooted in practical insider research

Info-Tech uses PMI and ISACA frameworks for areas of this research.

Logo for 'Project Management Institute (PMI)'.' Logo for 'COBIT 5 an ISACA Framework'.
PMI’s Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd ed. is the leading industry framework, proving project portfolio management best practices and process guidelines. COBIT 5 is the leading framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

In addition to industry-leading frameworks, our best-practice approach is enhanced by the insights and guidance from our analysts, industry experts, and our clients.

Logo for 'Info-Tech Research Group'.

33,000+ Our peer network of over 33,000 happy clients proves the effectiveness of our research.

1000+ Our team conducts 1,000+ hours of primary and secondary research to ensure that our approach is enhanced by best practices.

Re-position IT as the “facilitator of business projects” for PPM success

CASE STUDY

Industry: Construction
Source: Info-Tech Client

Chaos in the project portfolio

At first, there were no less than 14 teams of developers, each with their own methodologies and processes. Changes to projects were not managed. Only 35% of the projects were completed on time.

Business drives, IT facilitates

Anyone had the right to ask for something; however, converting ideas to a formal project demand required senior leadership within a business division getting on board with the idea.

The CIO and senior leadership decided that projects, previously assigned to IT, were to be owned and driven by the business, as the projects are undertaken to serve its needs and rarely IT’s own. The rest of the organization understood that the business, not IT, was accountable for prioritizing project work: IT was re-positioned as a facilitator of business projects. While it was a long process, the result speaks for itself: 75% of projects were now being completed on time.

Balancing the target mix of the project portfolio

What about maintaining and feeding the IT infrastructure? The CIO reserved 40% of IT project capacity for “keeping the lights on,” and 20% for reactive, unplanned activities, with an aim to lower this percentage. With the rest of the time, IT facilitated business projects

Three key drivers of project priority

  1. Does the project meet the overall company goals and objectives?
    “If they don't, we must ask why we are bothering with it.”
  2. Does the project address a regulatory or compliance need?
    “Half of our business is heavily regulated. We must focus on it.”
  3. Are there significant savings to be had?
    “Not soft; hard savings. Can we demonstrate that, after implementing this, can we see good hard results? And, can we measure it?”

"Projects are dumped on IT, and the business abdicates responsibility. Flip that over, and say ‘that's your project’ and ‘how can we help you?’"

Use these icons to help direct you as you navigate this research

Use these icons to help guide you through each step of the blueprint and direct you to content related to the recommended activities.

A small monochrome icon of a wrench and screwdriver creating an X.

This icon denotes a slide where a supporting Info-Tech tool or template will help you perform the activity or step associated with the slide. Refer to the supporting tool or template to get the best results and proceed to the next step of the project.

A small monochrome icon depicting a person in front of a blank slide.

This icon denotes a slide with an associated activity. The activity can be performed either as part of your project or with the support of Info-Tech team members, who will come onsite to facilitate a workshop for your organization.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Develop a PPM strategy – project overview

1. Get executive buy-in for your PPM strategy

2. Align PPM processes to your strategic goals

3. Complete your PPM strategic plan

Supporting Tool icon

Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Choose the right PPM strategy for your organization

1.2 Translate PPM strategy expectations to specific process goals

2.1 Develop and refine project intake, prioritization, and resource management processes

2.2 Develop and refine portfolio reporting, project closure, and benefits realization processes

3.1 Select a right-sized PPM solution for supporting your new processes

3.2 Finalize customizing your PPM Strategic Plan Template

Guided Implementations

  • Scoping call: discuss current state of PPM and review strategy options.
  • How to wireframe realistic process goals, rooted in your PPM strategic expectations, that will be sustained by the organization.
  • 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 each process).
  • Assess your PPM tool requirements to help support your processes.
  • Determine the costs and potential benefits of your PPM practice.
Associated Activity icon

Onsite Workshop

Module 1:
Set strategic expectations and realistic goals for the PPM strategy
Module 2:
Develop and refine strategy-aligned PPM processes
Module 3:
Compose your PPM strategic plan
Phase 1 Outcome:
  • Analysis of the current state of PPM
  • Strategy-aligned goals and metrics for PPM processes
Phase 2 Outcome:
  • PPM capability levels
  • High-level descriptions of near- and long-term target state
Phase 3 Outcome:
  • PPM tool recommendations
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Customized PPM strategic plan

Workshop overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Workshop Day 1

Workshop Day 2

Workshop Day 3

Workshop Day 4

Workshop Day 5

Get leadership buy-in for PPM strategy Set PPM process goals and metrics with strategic expectations Develop and Refine PPM processes Develop and Refine PPM processes Complete the PPM strategic plan

Activities

  • 1.1 Assess leadership mandate.
  • 1.2 Determine potential resource capacity.
  • 1.3 Create a project inventory.
  • 1.4 Communicate your PPM strategy to key stakeholders.
  • 2.1 Translate each strategic goal into process goals.
  • 2.2 Set metrics and preliminary targets for PPM process goals.
  • 3.1 Develop and refine the project intake, prioritization, and approval process.
  • 3.2 Develop and refine the resource management process.
  • 4.1 Develop and refine the portfolio reporting process.
  • 4.2 Develop and refine the project closure process.
  • 4.3 Develop and refine the benefits realization process.
  • 5.1 Right-size the PPM tools for your processes.
  • 5.2 Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of implementing the new PPM strategy.
  • 5.3 Define roles and responsibilities for the new processes.

Deliverables

  1. Choice of PPM strategy and the leadership mandate
  2. Analysis of current project capacity
  3. Analysis of current project demand
  4. PPM Strategic Plan – Executive Brief
  1. PPM strategy-aligned process goals
  2. Metrics and long-term targets for PPM process goals
    For each of the five PPM processes:
  1. Process capability level
  2. Current-state PPM process description
  3. Retrospective examination of the current-state PPM process
  4. Action items to achieve the target states
  5. Time cost of the process at current and target states
  1. Recommendation for a PPM tool
  2. Cost-benefit analysis
  3. Roles and responsibilities matrix for each PPM process

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

PHASE 1

Get Executive Buy-In for Your PPM Strategy

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy preview picture

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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.

Authors

Travis Duncan

Barry Cousins

David Lee

Contributors

  • 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
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