Project portfolio management involves not just running multiple projects, but rather, making sure that each portfolio has been assessed by business values and how it fits into the larger strategic picture. In essence, the portfolio should be designed to achieve a specific or defined business objective, making sure that the projects as a collective fit together as a whole.

Some questions to ask when looking a project management portfolio include:

* Does each project contribute to the overall achievement of the portfolio, and if so, how?
* Will any project negatively impact other projects?
* Which projects are dependent on others?
* What projects are needed to complete the management portfolio?

To answer these questions means that it is necessary to look at the projects at a portfolio level, and to work with summary data in many cases. To do otherwise can lead to information overload, and so the project detail should be kept at the project team level, with management handled by individual project managers. C-level executives or those just below them can manage the portfolio as a whole, looking at a summary of performance as well as progress and measurement of estimates vs. actual costs.

As part of the system of project portfolio management, there is generally an evaluation process, one that evaluates on a more granular level the projects at various levels during their lifecycle. At the initial stage, the project is evaluated in terms of the business case, to se if it is relevant and fits with the company’s objectives. This type of checkpoint process ensures that all projects fit into a company’s portfolio and with the company’s overall strategy, and that resources are used to their maximum benefit.

There is of course software that assists with this process that asks if things are being done the right way and if they’re designed to achieve the desired benefits. This software can be helpful in that it can alert the company early on if projects are heading off track, so that they can be reigned in before they go too far astray, wasting precious resources.

Project management portfolios should be looked as a whole by various entities within the company, so that they can be evaluated using different but equally important objectives. By using this type of evaluation approach, the company can ensure that these portfolios are complete, in that there are no gaps or shortcomings that can leave the portfolio as less of an asset to the company than it can be.

Author's Bio: 

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