Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a business tool used to effectively manage a number of portfolios or projects towards an overall objective. Each individual project is created in order to achieve a specific business objective or advantage. They should all benefit the overall project portfolio. The PPM is an umbrella for all of the individual projects.
It is important to know what benefits each individual project has within the PPM system. A number of questions need to be asked to ascertain this. These include finding out how well each project is performing. You also need to know if any single project could have a negative effect on any other projects to come. Ultimately, you need to know that the successful outcome of all the projects will deliver the desired objective or benefit.
Within a PPM system, there comes a point at which you have to evaluate the process. This evaluation determines whether each individual project is working satisfactorily through its life cycle. The person evaluating the project determines whether it is still relevant and working towards the desired goal of the portfolio. If it is not, then that particular project may be put on hold or stopped altogether.
When building your PPM system, you need to make sure you have the right tools to run the project. Due to their diverse functionality, the commercial tools on offer can seem daunting. The best way to approach this is to start small, bringing one element at a time into the project.
The main points that work towards achieving a successful PPM system include costs and beneficial measurement, resource planning and the communication of key project data. You should also be aware of the project evaluation process or methodology. Take progress reporting and the tracking of the project costs and benefits into account as well.
There are a number of PPM tools that address all of the above points. These are software application packages that can aid you in successfully maintaining your portfolio. Artemis is a market leader in this field. They offer a tool called PortfolioDirector, which provides a central base capable of recording all current and proposed business investments that exist within a business.
Another package is Changepoint. This provides graphical information that allows managers to keep tabs on a portfolio of projects in real time. Through a dashboard, a manager can see critical business information from a number of projects, all on one viewable screen. There are many more established and sophisticated packages available. They should all be fairly easy to use, as their ultimate goal is the successful implementation of your PPM system.