ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Project Management - What is Project Portfolio Management?

Updated on March 29, 2015
Project portfolio management allows a business to manage projects across multiple teams, processes and business areas
Project portfolio management allows a business to manage projects across multiple teams, processes and business areas | Source


In project management, project portfolio management (PPM) is the function that allows more than one project to be successfully run at the same time. It focuses on minimizing the risks and dependencies between the projects, ensures that there are enough resources in place to deliver all of the projects in the portfolio and provides a centralized way to run projects effectively.

Project Portfolio Management is an essential part of the project management organization in larger businesses. Good PPM allows multiple projects and programs to run simultaneously without causing risks, issues or other problems. In this article we explore the main functions of PPM and how they can enhance the likelihood of projects delivering successful business outcomes.

Project management in large organizations

There are normally three levels of 'project' management in a large organization. These are:

  • Projects - Individual, defined, time-bound, budgeted pieces of work designed to create change in a product, service or process. Overseen by individual project managers.
  • Programs - Collections of projects that are designed to deliver a similar outcome, are affecting the same area or are of the same type. Overseen by a program manager.
  • Portfolio - The overall collection of all of the projects and programs that a business is running.

The Project, Program and Portfolio Management Office

PPM is part of the project management area in most larger businesses and is normally comprised of a team of people, collectively known as the 'Project, Program and Portfolio Management Office' (PMO). This team is responsible for the following areas:

PPM allows you to coordinate project phases and deliverables across multiple teams
PPM allows you to coordinate project phases and deliverables across multiple teams | Source
  • Providing a centralized way to manage projects, ensuring that projects follow a common framework of management and methodologies. This will involve providing resources, training, advice and support to various project management personnel, for example:
    • Creating a central repository of standards, policies, documents, templates and best practices for project managers and teams to use.
    • Defining a central framework and process that projects can follow. In larger organizations, there may be separate frameworks for projects that need different techniques (e.g. one framework for agile / lean projects, another one for traditional / waterfall projects).
    • Training staff in project and portfolio management techniques.
    • Supporting employees by answering questions and giving advice on the best approach to take with project management.

There are better ways than this to manage groups of projects
There are better ways than this to manage groups of projects | Source
  • Allowing program managers, project managers and the PMO to effectively manage and deliver projects across the business simultaneously.
  • Managing risks, dependencies and issues between projects and programs so that none of the projects or programs are negatively impacted by each other.
    • A 'dependency' is something that needs to happen before a project can progress a necessary piece of work.
    • A 'risk' is something that could happen that would negatively impact the project.
    • An 'issue' is something that has happened that is negatively impacting the project.

Understanding the dependencies between projects is essential
Understanding the dependencies between projects is essential | Source
  • Managing constraints and restrictions introduced by the business, other projects or external activities.
    • Understanding what is happening in the business and how that could impact on project or program delivery.
    • Monitoring external factors and managing any risks that they may introduce to business projects.
  • Providing an overview of availability, resources and activities.
    • Availability - The individuals and teams that are available to complete various project activities.
    • Resources - The budget and other resources that are available.
    • Activities - The various tasks that individuals and teams are involved in.

  • Communicating and reporting on the progress of projects and programs.
    • Providing reports to business and other stakeholders.
    • Tracking and communicating the overall progress of projects towards their goals.
    • Flagging potential delays, risks, issues and constraints to the relevant areas.

Portfolio management vs. project management

Read more of our helpful, expert guides to successfully managing a project:

Do you have project portfolio management in your business?

See results

In closing

Although project portfolio management will not normally be needed in a small business, once an organization has a reasonable number of employees and needs to run more than one project at a time, some level of PPM will probably be required. Good PPM can ensure that all of the various projects and programs in a business can deliver smoothly and enhance business outcomes.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)