Chapter 24

Managing a Portfolio of Projects

Many financial investors maintain a balanced investment portfolio — a collection of different financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and cash. The assets in a portfolio work in their unique ways to help investors meet their ultimate goals, whether it's finally shipping the kids off to a prestigious college, building a dream home in the mountains, or swimming and golfing every day in a comfortable retirement.

Just like the multiple types of assets in a financial investment portfolio, organizations often undertake multiple projects at one time. These projects might advance different strategic goals. One project might work to optimize and reduce costs in the delivery of a current service, another might strive to develop a product to meet a new market opportunity, and another might endeavor to develop strategic partnerships with key customers. Even though the three projects are focused on very different aspects of the business, they're all working together for the organization's success.

Furthermore, those three projects are indeed an investment: in money, resources, and time. The expectation is that the investment in these projects will return substantial benefits. It makes sense that an organization would want to proactively examine, evaluate, and carefully select the projects that are to become part of the organization's focused project portfolio.

This chapter defines project portfolio management and how it can benefit an organization. ...

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