Project Portfolio Management Strategy Guide​

In today’s business landscape, project portfolio management (PPM) has become an increasingly crucial practice for project-oriented firms. For those businesses looking into the approach, this Project Portfolio Management Strategy Guide aims to clarify the difference between project and portfolio management, cover PPM basics like methodologies and capabilities, and offer insights into effectively implementing PPM. Serving as a valuable resource for project teams, leaders, PMOs, and executives, it addresses challenges, provides an overview of PPM tools, and introduces the next step — Enterprise Project Portfolio Management.

Project Portfolio Management Basics: Methodologies and Capabilities

Let’s explore the basics of project portfolio management: methodologies, frameworks, and critical capabilities. 

Understanding Project Portfolio Management Methodologies

Project management is a process-oriented discipline. The most widely used PPM methods include those below. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Check out our full breakdown of project portfolio management methodologies to learn more about these examples and more. 


This historical approach follows a linear downward flow from project initiation until ultimate delivery. Although it’s often considered somewhat rigid, Waterfall provides a well-structured framework suited to large projects. 

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

Instead of scheduling tasks in a set order, CCPM estimates the likely duration of activities. The goal is to find out the most efficient sequencing. The “critical chain” this process creates helps with identifying resources that are under the greatest strain at each phase in order to enable preventive or corrective action. This constraint-based method can be highly effective in optimizing the performance of small to mid-sized projects. 


This well-known iterative approach focuses on building products incrementally instead of revealing the finished deliverables at the end of the process. Applying Agile methods usually results in reduced time to market, improved customer satisfaction, and therefore a more solid market position. But organizations need to meet specific requirements in order for Agile to give full measure. 

Project Portfolio Management Basics: Critical Capabilities

Regardless of the methodology, a solid PPM strategy should include the following core capabilities: 

Idea and Demand Management

This ensures that limited resources are directed to the best ideas and most promising projects. It plays a pivotal role in aligning projects with organizational needs and stakeholder interests, which is critical for achieving long-term success.


Strategic Portfolio Management

Even the most well-formulated strategies can fail due to poor execution. Strategic portfolio management focuses on translating strategy formulation into action. How? By ensuring alignment between business goals and project investments at the portfolio and program levels. 

Resource and Capacity Management

Project organizations operate with limited resources (whether human, financial, or material). Resource and capacity management helps PMOs have the right resources with the right skills available for the highest value projects, working at the optimal utilization rate.

Visual Collaboration

The right PPM solution supports intuitive collaboration with its ergonomic, easy-to-use interfaces. It allows teams to structure, track and share progress on any activity (project, action plan, initiative, etc.).

Project Planning and Management

Effective project managers plan out, schedule, and manage the work that needs to be done. A PPM solution like Sciforma enable organizations to achieve the project management golden triangle: on-scope, on-cost, and on-time.

Time Tracking and Management

To manage a project, project managers must know how the work is progressing compared to the master schedule and budget. Tracking user time works wonderfully for this. It also helps ensure team accountability, increase productivity, improve decision-making and enhance project planning.

Cost and Budget Management

Every project involves costs. The larger and more complex the project, the more costly to execute in terms of time and money. To secure project funding, a solid project budget plan is key, as it provides the basis for project costs control and has a direct effect on the company’s financial viability.