The PPM process should provide an aggregate portfolio view of all project plans for big picture analysis. Project Portfolio Management software should also offer visibility into data at the project level.

Good project level management allows the editing of individual project plans and visualization of work breakdown structure for each initiative.

Project level management within the overall PPM process effectively handles problems and identifies patterns with issue tracking to ensure timeliness of portfolio goals.

A Project Management Portfolio Management process should provision for the following capabilities:

  • Project Lifecycle
  • Project Plans
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Issue Tracking
  • Timesheets

Project Workflow

A Project Portfolio Management process organizes initiatives offering an understanding of project status.

The project lifecycle process enables you to manage proposed initiatives, gather information, manage active projects and review your completed projects.

A project management process that uses a project lifecycle allows you to answer questions such as:

  • How many active projects do we have?
  • When was this project placed on hold?
  • Who proposed the most initiatives this year?
  • Is my project done yet?

Project Plans

Your PPM solution should aggregate and track project management plans across the portfolio and allow individual project plans to be displayed and updated.

Project planning as part of the project portfolio management process supports the ability to create mock-up plans for initiatives that are still in the planning/ non-active stage. This allows you to assign resources and timelines and perform “what-if” analysis against the entire portfolio.

Work Breakdown Structure

PPM solutions need to able to store data at a low level of granularity to ensure that the information presented is both accurate to the entire organization and relevant to Project Managers.

The Work Breakdown Structure further itemizes the project plan into tasks, milestones, timelines and resources necessary to complete the project.

This provides the information needed to answer questions such as:

  • Which tasks or milestones are due this week?
  • Who is responsible for Task A?
  • What is the on-time rate for milestones on projects with this PM?
  • Is my project done yet?

Issue Tracking

All projects have issues – some are more disruptive than others in terms of preventing projects from being completed on time, on budget, and delivering business value. The project issue tracking process:

  • Identifies issues
  • Quantifies the issue’s impact on the project
  • Assigns the issue to an owner
  • Provides updates on the issue
  • Assigns timelines for resolution
  • Notifies stakeholders

Project Portfolio Management software supports the tracking process and manages issues across the entire project portfolio. The project issue log enables you to identify trends, know the resources that can be assigned to resolve issue and understand the impact of an issue on the portfolio.


Tracking resource utilization at the project level and at the task level is managed via timesheets in a PPM solution.

Having timesheet data answers project level questions such as:

  • Who worked on Project A last week?
  • How many hours did we allocate for Task A vs. how many hours were actually spent?
  • Did we exceed our project budget?

Timesheet data answers questions across the entire portfolio as well:

  • What is the average amount of time we spend performing repetitive Task A?
  • How much money have we spent doing Task B?  Should we outsource this?
  • Who is our fastest coder?

Project management ensures that your initiatives deliver! To learn more about the additional benefits that PPM can deliver please read the “Definitive Guide to Project Portfolio Management”.

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