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Quick Study: Project Portfolio Management

thinkingManaging multiple projects is no easy task.  It can be like a game of memory.  It is difficult to remember what you have just looked at once you have moved onto a new card.  It would be much simpler if you could have every card overturned in front of you.  The same can be said of project management.  According to an article by Melissa Solomon, project portfolio management allows for increased visibility in the IT world:

In the IT world, the obvious benefit of project portfolio management is that it gives executives a bird's-eye view of projects so they can spot redundancies, spread resources appropriately and keep close tabs on progress.  But what's most appealing to many CIOs is the focus on projects as a portfolio of investments. Discussions aren't just about how much a project will cost, but also about its anticipated risks and returns in relation to other projects. This way, entire portfolios can be jiggered to produce the highest returns based on current conditions.

The idea of project portfolio management has been around in academic circles since the 1980s, according to Solomon, but only fairly recently has its full value been recognized.  Now project portfolio management is easier than ever before thanks to new software and training.  Developing metrics used to measure a portfolio’s success is still a challenge, however.

Still, just because developing metrics is challenging does not mean it is not worth it.  Indicators for the status of a project can be beneficial.  Also, if you do happen to make a mistake or a misstep, you will know better next time.  Stop playing games with your project portfolio management, and many things in your business should become a lot easier to deal with.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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