IT Best PracticesProject Portfolio Management

Using Project Portfolio Management to Demonstrate IT Value

In this article from, Scott Berinato discusses how PPM began at Schlumberger: an IT staffer determined what work their fellow workers were involved with, added it to a spreadsheet, and saw some remarkable things. Jane Walton (who was then an IT analyst) saw the spreadsheet and was struck by how many projects overlapped in time or were trying to solve the same problem. From this PPM   was born in the IT services company; the importance of seeing all projects and being able to report on those projects became apparent, both for the IT department and for the overall business: The serendipitous beauty of project portfolio management is that it's actually impossible to do it without being aligned with the business, because creating a portfolio requires close collaboration with the business. It will elevate the CIO in other executives' eyes because he (finally) will be speaking in their native tongue. A well-managed portfolio will also reward CIOs with a seat at the big table and a larger role in influencing business strategy. Of course, the price for that influence is accountability: Portfolio management makes IT completely responsible for its actions. This discovery of the benefit in project portfolio management often occurs in IT organizations in the same way it did above, but now PPM has become a common such a common buzzword that most CIOs demand the data to present to the boardroom. As PPM grows in use throughout IT organizations, the benefits and alignment to business become drastically apparent.

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