PPM: Project Portfolio Management Software

PPM, short for project portfolio management, is the discipline of defining, selecting, and managing a group of multiple projects. This group is called a portfolio. The Project Management Institute defines PPM as “the centralized management of one or more portfolios, which includes identifying, prioritizing, authorizing, managing, and controlling projects, programs, and other related work to achieve specific strategic business objectives.” Not to be confused with regular project management, PPM deals with deciding which projects in a portfolio are to be prioritized over the rest. In other words, ppm is the management of project management; it does not oversee individual projects themselves.

PPM Questions

The EPMC (Enterprise Portfolio Management Council) suggests that PPM address five important questions, which relate to the five project constraints.

  1. Scope: “Are we investing in the right things?” Projects are organized within the portfolio to bring the best ROI for the business. The means deciding what projects will start first and what projects will be terminated.
  2. Cost: “Are we optimizing our capacity?” Projects require managers, team members, resources, and tools. Having an excess or lack of any of these will negatively affect ROI.
  3. Quality: “How well are we executing?” PPM moderates the status of projects and determines how productive each project has been. If quality seems to be spiraling down, adjustments within the portfolio may need be made.
  4. Time: “Are we realizing the promised benefits?” Projects and portfolios alike have an end goal associated with a calendar date. PPM managers make sure that each project is providing the anticipated results, making changes as necessary.
  5. Risk: “Can we absorb all the changes?” There is a risk factor involved with each project in a portfolio, often trumping the other factors. If a project with a large ROI is extremely risky, for instance, a less profitable, less risky project may gain preference over the other.

Project Portfolio Management Software

Because portfolios include such large amounts of data from multiple projects, it is important that PPM software have maximized visibility and customization. Portfolio managers must be aware that project managers are appointed to their positions for a reason, and that team members are also appointed to their specific tasks for a reason. When major decisions are made at the portfolio level, it isn’t just a bunch of numbers on a screen—actual people are affected. That said, it is imperative that the selected PPM software display the most accurate information. (See AtTask's PPM and project management software.)

project and portfolio management

Today, there are thousands of successful companies worldwide that are using these tools to make the most of PPM Project Portfolio Management.

Resource: Project Portfolio Management: A View from the Management Trenches. James Pennypacker and San Retna, Ed. EPMC, Inc. Wiley: 2009 (1-24). Web.