Use of Project Portfolio Management Continues to Fluctuate

February, 2017

Just as a mutual fund manager manages a portfolio of stocks, IT executives use project portfolio management (PPM) to maximize the ROI of their IT projects as a portfolio. But although the majority of organizations have adopted PPM as a best practice, there is room for this discipline to grow and mature.

As shown in Figure 2 from our full report, IT Project Portfolio Management Adoption and Best Practices, the percentage of IT organizations using some form of PPM rose from 55% in 2015 to 62% in 2016, which is almost the same percentage in 2014, 63%.

ProjPortfolio fig 2 - Use of Project Portfolio Management Continues to Fluctuate

“It’s too early to say if the recent rise is part of an upward trend or just another fluctuation,” said Tom Dunlap, research director at Computer Economics, an IT research firm based in Irvine., Calif. “However, more companies should be embracing PPM, because it gives IT execs a framework to evaluate projects as a portfolio and prioritize them.”

Like other aspects of IT, PPM is both a discipline and a set of tools, and it is used in conjunction with project management. The goal of PPM is to organize a series of projects and programs by outlining objectives, costs, timelines, accomplishments, resources, and risks. It allows executives to regularly review all projects, spread resources appropriately, and adjust projects to produce the highest returns. Making sure that IT projects succeed requires a combination of best practices and tools.

In the full study, we look at PPM adoption trends across time, organization size, and industry. We also cover some of the software tools available for managing ongoing projects and recommend best practices for selecting tools and getting value from them. We conclude with an overview of PPM tools and best practices to ensure success in PPM processes. The PPM rating is based on a comparison of the adoption of this practice with the 32 others in our annual major study, IT Management Best Practices.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, IT Project Portfolio Management Adoption and Best Practices. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).