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Project portfolio management in turbulent times Logo cima

  Professor Elizabeth Daniel, Professor John Ward... |   Free |   CIMA |   2011 |   Thought leadership

This report explores the use of project portfolio management (PPM) by organisations during the current turbulent economic conditions. The study takes five case study firms and explores what activities and practices were involved in their approach to PPM. We set out to explore the use of PPM by organisations during the current turbulent economic conditions. We wished to explore what activities and practices were involved in their approach to PPM and how these practices were influenced by the current economic conditions. We also explored the benefits they were deriving from their use of PPM. Where possible we sought to identify general lessons and effective practice from these real-world case studies and these are provided at the end of this summary.

We carried out five case studies of different organisations, of different sizes in a range of business sectors: news and media, professional services, insurance, pharmaceuticals and IT services. Interviews were carried out with a number of senior managers and professionals in each organisation. The project portfolios included only IT projects in the news and media and pharmaceutical companies and all types of projects in the other three organisations. However, given many projects within organisations include a significant degree of IT, these latter broadly based portfolios also include IT investments. (More detail about the case studies and how the research was undertaken is provided in the appendix.) (PDF 394)

Topics covered:
  • Management accounting: Business: Strategy, Advanced
  • Management accounting: Business: Project management, Advanced

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2 Comments/Reflections

Tshepo Irvin Direro

Tshepo Irvin Direro Aug 2017

Project Portfolio Management adds value to organisations because it assists improving the project approval process, resource allocation, project prioritization and project reporting.

Project approval should be driven by strategy. 

Larger organisations include approved projects on the project portfolio based on cost threshold, strategic objective and workforce allocated to the project. Small companies and include all the projects on the project portfolio and there are no set governance structures like big companies.

Resource availability should be assessed before approving projects. Where there are limited resources (funds or experienced personnel) projects should be prioritized according to the expected benefits or importance of the project.

Projects should be classified into categories to consider whether it's appropriate to to the projects across the portfolio. Compliance projects are very important and should be first priority especially for companies where compliance is of high importance like banks etc.

Project portfolio management means that risks are not only assessed on the individual project level but are also assessed on the portfolio level. Measures are taken to balance the portfolio risks by grouping high risk projects with lower risk projects.
Krusha Patel

Krusha Patel Mar 2016

Proved a great insight into PPM and risk combinations, and evaluating projects and business conditions risk. To help across the projects as well as over viewing strategic and operational risks. It also takes in consideration that limited resources can play a factor in operational and business risks when undertaking projects. 

Addressing and reviewing issues also is a key aspect of successful PPM, in order to escalate project further.