Project Portfolio Management

Operational focus

Know how your running portfolio is performing


Understand. Evaluate. Manage. 


Understand how your running portfolio is performing

Many firms have embraced the project portfolio management (PPM) discipline in the past couple of years. Most of these companies have started with getting centralised overview of their initiatives with status reporting, insight into the planning and potential resource conflicts. This is what the operational project portfolio management focus is about.

Whether you are matured in PPM or still in the starting phase, the best thing to start out with project portfolio management, is the start centralising your project data.

Issues companies face without PPM

Common challenges if no project portfolio management discipline is implemented (in whatever form) are:

Lack of centralized up to date data| There is not one overview in the company showing the actual status of all planned and running projects. Probably the project portfolio is being managed in complex excel files maybe linked to Power BI reports as an effort to try to get that centralized view.

Unclarity about performance| Whether the running projects in the portfolio are performing well or not, is crucial for defining the project portfolio. In many companies, an overview of the status of all projects in progress and planning is difficult to find, leading to suboptimal input for defining if the project portfolio should be adjusted.

Lack of transparancy | Employees have no clue what initiatives are in progress and might even experience that their project is actually conflicting with a project elsewhere running in the organisation.


To have a good view on the running projects in the portfolio, informations is needed in order to evaluate the operational performance. This is input for management to decide if a running project should continue or should terminate in favor of other more value added initiatives.

Status reporting

Ask your project managers to periodically give a status update of their projects. A stoplight reporting with some extra high level update information is enough for portfolio management to define if action is needed or projects should be re-evaluated.

Planning and progress

Focus on high level planning and progress of the projects. Don’t get lost in detailed project management planning schedules to be able to perform project portfolio management. It is really about the high level planning and if the project is moving according to schedule or is lagging behind.

Critical resource management

Critical resources is what portfolio management needs to look at. Focus on those resources that are limited which knowledge that cannot be easily replaced by external consultants or hiring more employees. Make sure that you register the resource demand for these critical resources so you can check whether the availability is enough to execute your project portfolio.


One version of the truth

By centralizing your project portfolio data, there is one version of the truth. This is key to be successful in both the definition of the project portfolio as well as the delivery of the project. Make sure you invest in a pragmatic solution to centralize your data. Learn more about five considerations in selecting a project portfolio management tool.


By asking project managers to periodically update their projects as input for the project portfolio management process, all relevant stakeholders have insight in the actual performance of the running project portfolio. It helps in understanding what the organisation is working on and involves all relevant employees in the success of the ppm process.

Smarter decision making

One of the most obvious advantages of project portfolio management is better decision making. Logical: all data about projects and programs are available in a centralised and visualised way, bringing information on the tabel for the Portfolio Board whether it is clever to continue with some of the running projects or better to terminate it and re-allocate funds and valuable critical rseources to other initiatives.


Functionality supporting operational project portfolio management

  • Centralised project, program and portfolio lists
  • Tracking projects based on relevant organisational perspectives
  • Filter views based on any data captured on project level
  • Status reporting aggregated from project into program and portfolio level
  • Planning and progress aggregated from project into program and portfolio level
  • Project dependencies
  • Resource management on project, program and portfolio level: demand versus availability
  • Use of flexible KPIs to track operational performance
  • Full fledged reporting engine to create any report you need for supporting your ppm process

Functionality supporting strategic project portfolio management

  • Tracking projects based on relevant strategic perspectives in order to slice and dice the portfolio to support prioritisation and balancing of the portfolio.
  • Use of strategic scoring mechanisms to visualise the project portfolio to support strategic decision making
  • Use of risk scoring techniques to evaluate the overall risk profile of the portfolio
  • Use of flexible KPIs to track strategic calculations and performance metrics
  • Full fledged reporting engine to create any report you need for supporting your ppm process

Functionality supporting financial project portfolio management

  • Tracking financial data on different amount types (e.g. budget and actuals) for follow up of project execution financials but also post-launch benefits follow-up
  • Tracking key metrics (also non-financials) on project level to track performance during and after project launch (benefits tracking)
  • Use of flexible KPIs to track strategic financial calculations and performance metrics
  • Full fledged reporting engine to create any report you need for supporting your ppm process


Book an inspiration session with one of our consultants. We would be happy to hear about your challenges.