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Project Portfolio Management: Metrics that Work

If you have ever wanted to brush up on your knowledge of project portfolio management without having to scour the internet for info, you are in luck, because James C. Brown of Pioneer Hi-Bred International has all the answers you need in one convenient space. In a PDF, Brown tackles the subject of PPM from multiple sides in depth. Several basic definitions are provided to break down key concepts, as well as a brief discussion about the audience for which PPM is intended. Also included is data that tracks trends in PPM-related searches by industry, geography, and size of enterprise over the course of a year. Yet this all only scratches the surface of what Brown details.

Challenges of PPM are addressed, which include challenges of organization, culture, and knowledge. Myths of PPM are debunked, such as “PPM resides with IT,” “The right tool drives PPM success,” and “The best starting place is PPM best practices.” Benefits of PPM, how to implement PPM, and examples of portfolio management models are all also put on easy display, with multiple clean lists and charts to illustrate ideas.

When portfolio metrics are finally discussed deep into the PDF, the five categories are listed not just with sample metrics but also with key questions that should be asked of each category:

Category:  Portfolio Mix. Key Question:  Is our funding aligned to strategic objectives?

Category:  Demand & Capacity. Key Question:  Do we have the right prioritization and sequencing of projects given current capacity?

Category:  Value. Key Question:  For our portfolio, to what extent did we achieve our objectives?

Category:  Portfolio Health. Key Question:  For programs/projects in-flight, how is our execution progressing?

Category:  Financial Management. Key Question:  How effectively are we managing program and project budgets and what are the financial trends?

It goes on to provide lessons with how to use those metrics, such as that new metrics should only be introduced when necessary and that prototypes should be created early and often.

Brown chooses to close out his exhaustive study in PPM with ten helpful tips for the dashboard, including practical ideas like making sure you can actually collect the data you want to measure and always having a printable version of the dashboard on hand. But whether you choose to start from the beginning or skip to the end, you will find Brown always manages to teach big ideas in simple ways, and by the time you have absorbed all the useful nuggets from this PDF, you just might wonder if you have become the expert on project portfolio management yourself (and for good reason).

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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