More leadership teams are awakening to the impact that better Project Portfolio Management (PPM) has on their organizations’ bottom line. They are seeing that their profits, customer relationships, and team morale can thrive or falter based on how well they can pick the right projects, feed the critical ones resources, and opt out on those that won’t deliver on their promise.

Building the business case for PPM hinges, to a great degree, on how you decide to measure project success. You have an easier pitch once there’s agreement on what success looks like. Too often, companies fixate on a limited number of measures around project completion date, costs, and specifications.

These are all important, but a wider and more nuanced view of PPM raises other critical questions. Their exclusion means that an organization will never get the maximum benefit from their PPM undertaking.

  • Do we have the right balance of projects in terms of both revenue and risk?
  • Is the current portfolio of projects aligned with our high-level mission and strategy?
  • What is the ROI/ROO?
  • Do we have an accurate view of the resources required to complete the portfolio as planned?
  • What is the status of each project and program?
  • What is the satisfaction level of both clients and internal teams?

Taking these questions into account dramatically drives up the chances for a successful PPM investment.

Tools also play an important role here. Agreed-upon measures of success are easier to communicate when there is a “single version of the truth” that makes improvements and gains an apples-to-apples conversation. Having portfolio managers use exactly the same management tool as the individual project managers they direct means it’s far easier to share information, make informed decisions about the prioritization of programs and projects—for example, go/no-go or resource reallocation decisions. PPM-level team members can marshall aggregate data, with the option to drill down into granular detail depending on individual roles and types of data required.

If you’re interested in helping your organization build a stronger case for PPM, “The Business Case for Project Portfolio Management” from KeyedIn Project’s Master Class provides valuable guidance to the building blocks of a rock-solid PPM business case.