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Project Portfolio Management Defined

Centralised PM processes, methods, tools & techniques 

Used by project governing team: PMO, portfolio manager

To optimise project mix to align with portfolio goals, objectives

Executive Dashboard in Project Portfolio Management Tool ZilicusPM

What is Project Portfolio Management & Why Is it Important?

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) refers to the collective methods, processes, tools & techniques used by project management team (including project manager, portfolio manager and project management office – PMO teams). Project portfolio management aims to centrally analyse and manage ongoing or upcoming projects based on various parameters to achieve organisation’s strategic objectives and goals.

Project Portfolio Management - Strategy to Implementation Company strategy is decided by management/board in the board room meetings. Project portfolio management paves the way to implement company strategy through optimal selection and successful execution of projects. It is sort of getting the company’s tire to hit the roads. PPM involves optimising resources, budget, schedule as well as risks to select & deliver project(s) to achieve organisation’s financial, marketing, operational goals. PPM also takes into account, restrictions or limitations as implied/exercised by customers,  statutory/legal requirements, company’s strategic goals, etc.

Enterprises typically wants to invest only in those projects having significant returns on investment. Project portfolio management is used to assess possible return on all those proposed projects (or even invest more in currently ongoing/on-hold projects). PPM processes and tools allow organisation to identify value, foresee risks so as to make an informed decision about every projects. It is about having right information on table, having communication with key decision makers & stakeholders and making informed decisions.

Effective Project Portfolio ManagementIf project portfolio management is implemented properly, it is highly effective and beneficial technique to get approval, buy-in from key stakeholders inside and outside company. It allows key stakeholders such as executive managers, clients, auditors to see the larger picture backed by data such as budget, cost, risks, changes, margins, benefits. PPM tools which facilitate consistent and articulated communication with stakeholders are extremely valuable as it is highly likely to reduce friction & increase support from decision makers, sponsors, clients. It also greatly instils transparency, accountability and governance.

In nutshell, like typical portfolio management concept, PPM can also help companies diversify projects risk, optimise returns by optimal allocation of resources, funds.

Important Features of Project Portfolio Management

Broadly speaking, PPM enables project manager, portfolio managers, PMO team members in enterprise organisations to allocate & manage resources, budget, timeline of projects, set/manage inter-dependency, processes to identify & resolve/mitigate issues, risks, control change requests and get visibility into scheduling of team activities to achieve optimal project delivery timeline & financials. Portfolio managers usually identify, define and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to check portfolio alignment with company strategy on a regular basis.

Let’s look at the key features of project portfolio management

  • Demand Management
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Resource Planning and Management
  • Issue & Risk Management
  • Change Control & Management

Demand Management

Project portfolio demand management is about deciding whether or how to pickup one/many projects given the limited resources (staff, funds, time) in hand.  But it is important to remember that, the decision process to select a project should be driven by its alignment, which in turn is assessed by estimation of cost-benefit-value analysis. Some of the questions portfolio manager, executive manager should be asking int his process are as follows:
  • Do we have right resources, enough budget to take up & deliver a given project?
  • Whether a given project aligns with our portfolio strategy or company strategy?
  • Will this project earn desired value (more revenue, more profit, operational efficiency, improvement productivity, etc)

Budgeting & Financial Management

PPM helps portfolio managers as well as finance department to get improved accuracy and visibility in estimated cost, billing and budget numbers of a proposed and track financials of ongoing projects as well. From project governance perspective, portfolio managers can exert financial controls while assessing progress of projects using earned value management techniques such as
  • Overall funds available for a portfolio
  • % of budget allocation requested
  • % of budget utilised, over-utilised
  • Expected profit/margin percentage
  • Earned value of a project, CPI, cost variance ,etc.

Resource Capacity Planning and Management

PPM helps portfolio managers optimise cost and maximise margins. This can only possible if resources are deployed to projects in the most efficient manner. This calls for resource capacity planning and management which decide
  • What are the available resources?
  • Which resources can be deployed?
  • When they can be deployed?
  • For how long they can be deployed?
Usually business managers in enterprises use what-if analysis and scenario based planning across portfolio of projects to determine optimal mix of resources needed, available, to be procured/hired.

Issue and Risk Management

Whether you have diverse or homogeneous set of projects in a given portfolio, it does not eliminate immunity to risks. Using PPM processes and tools, portfolio manager has clear access/view of risks across projects. Following the right risk management processes, one can mitigate those risks in register and induce higher confidence levels to execute projects successfully. Similarly, incident management allows portfolio managers to identify impact and re-positioning of resources to tackle those issues better. Having a clear visibility allows managers to take informed, prompt and corrective actions to reduce impacts.

Change Control and Management

Typical experience is, no project is delivered exactly as per the scope. There are change requests through-out the project lifecycle. PPM processes allow stakeholders to submit and prioritise all change requests for new requirements, or change in features/functions, change in operating modality, change in regulatory/statutory/legal framework or any other enhancements. PPM tools, techniques provide central register to capture change requests, to evaluate those for impact-benefits analysis, assess implementation plan (budget, timeline, resources) before approving those in respective projects. Change control is critical to manage project scope creep, and portfolio managers need to monitor change requests across projects before it becomes unmanageable or avoid risk of project failure.

In subsequent sections, we will explore more about

ZilicusPM project portfolio management tool is easy to use &
It gives you visibility to manage portfolios like a astute business manager

Manage project risks using risk management tool in ZilicusPM. It is easy to submit risk, track risks using risk register, evaluate its impact and likelihood and set response strategy effortlessly. Take a look at features you can use to quickly contain, exploit risks using online tool

Create portfolio

portfolio objectives

portfolio goals

portfolio Owner

portfolio budget

portfolio cost

portfolio milestones

portfolio Change Requests

portfolio Issues

portfolio risks

resource planning

portfolio Managers

Portfolio reports

portfolio health

portfolio KPIs

portfolio dashboard

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ZilicusPM has been super helpful!! It Saved Our Company

I love that this program has helped better manage our projects, jobs, and what is due and deadlines for each aspect of a project. Also, it helps us keep track of when items are due and it alerts you as well. Since using this program, we have managed our time and projects more efficiently.
Samatha D - Zilicus Review
Samantha D
Management Associate
More features from ZilicusPM project management software tool
Project Management Software

Quickly create & manage schedule with interactive Gantt

Project Management Software

Like visual cards, no problem. Use Kanban board view cards across projects

Project Management Software

Set milestone, task priority.Use task filters, view baseline, critical tasks and more

Project Management Software

My Project Tasks

Designed for team members, it shows only those project tasks assigned to you

Project Management Software

Track time against project tasks, issues, risks. Submit for approval using web, mobile

Project Management Software

Timesheet Approval

Get timesheet approved by project manager or set auto-approval in place

Project Management Software

Submit project expenses across multiple projects tasks using web, mobile

Project Management Software

Expenses Approval

Get expenses approved by project manager or set auto-approval in place

Project Management Software

Track project issues, set priorities, add comment, track them all and get resolved

Project Management Software

Your online project risk register. Assess risk impact and set response strategy

Project Management Software

Manage every project change request. Evaluate its benefits and impact before approving

Project Management Software

Stakeholder Management

Invite internal, external, statutory stakeholders to access project information 

Project Management Software

Project Approval

Submit project requests for approval, PMO/portfolio manager can review, approve it

Project Management Software

Project Templates

Use, reusable project schedule and team combination. Save time in these mundane activities

Project Management Software

Portfolio Budget

Set portfolio budget, allocate its parts to projects. Track budget vs allocated amount

Project Management Software

Portfolio and executive management can get clear and real visibility into portfolio status

Project Management Software

Project Budget

Set project specific budget and track it against estimated or actual cost

Project Management Software

Track project cost divided into resources, fixed and other costs. Compare planned vs actual

Project Management Software

Project Billing

Set project billing and track project billing through the project execution process

Project Management Software

Earned Value

Track value earned by your projects using earned value reports

Project Management Software

Assign Tasks to Staff

Quickly assign tasks to your team members, get them notified

Project Management Software

Resource Calendar

Set resource calendar – working days, hours per day

Project Management Software

Resource Workload

Clearly see workload for a given staff member, daily, weekly or monthly basis

Project Management Software

Resource Skills

Set resource skills, roles and filter resource for capacity planning, allocation

Project Management Software

Project Meetings

Set project meetings, invite attendees, track MoM & action items

Project Management Software

Document Sharing

Share project documents, tasks, issue, risk, change specific documents

Project Management Software

Discussion Board

Ideate and collaborate with your project team, clients.

Project Management Software

Client Collaboration

Invite your clients, share plan, documents, issues, changes with your clients.

Project Management Software

App Alerts

Get notified when pending tasks, issues, risks, approvals are pending on your name

Project Management Software

Email Notification

Get task assignment emails in your inbox, update status through email, comment and mroe

Project Management Software

Team Calendar

Know who is working on  what, when in your project tema

Project Management Software

Custom Reports

Create your own report, set columns, filters, grouping, etc.

Sign up for ZilicusPM today

Start your 30-day free trial. No credit card required. No strings attached.

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