Project Portfolio Management, IT Financial Management Blog

How do Business Processes / Capabilities fit in portfolio planning

When you draft your proposal you try to describe your vision of ‘goodness’ that will be a direct result of your project being approved –


  • a better world, a better place to work,
  • happier, more productive employees,
  • increased sales, revenue, or profit
  • decreased defects and errors -

You typically quantify the benefits and then forecast the overall costs of your project, accounting for the development and operational costs.  In many organizations, it boils down to one or two key financial indicators – ROI, NPV, etc which are then used to compare and prioritize the elements in the portfolio. 




But, where does business processes and / or business capabilities fit in?  If your proposal also includes indicators about which business processes will be impacted by your project, then this added dimension can provide a wealth of information when it comes time to prioritize and approve projects in the portfolio.


  • How many proposed projects will impact process ABC this year?   
    Will any of them overlap with each other?
  • Are there opportunities for re-use of assets or bundling of projects to streamline the people impact when the projects go live?
  • Who is responsible for the process changes that will be required?
  • What
  • Where

By simply incorporating the business process information in your proposal data, you will have the opportunity to significantly improve your overall understanding of how your limited investment resources are being allocated across the organization.  You will also be able to identify and alleviate potential resource constraints and conflicts before the projects are launched – by simply understanding the business process implications of the proposals.


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Customer Case Studies, Best Practices and Product Roadmaps for PPM and ITFM

The PPM and ITFM tracks at HP Software Universe 2010 in Washington D.C. are confirmed and ready for you to build your own customized schedule!

Customer speakers include companies such as Motorola, PricewaterhouseCoopers, NBC Universal, Bank of New York Mellon, AIG, United Stationers, Deloitte, KPMG, National Bank of Australia, United Airlines and more.

In addition, HP experts will be presenting on best practices for project portfolio management and IT financial management, as well as product roadmaps.

Register today and create your own schedule!

P.S. Sam Donaldson will be our emcee and Olympian Dara Torres will be our conference keynote!




Enterprise level Project and Portfolio Management: Tips for Success

By Susan O’Connor, Sr. Product Marketing Manager 

Recently I was asked by Keith Casey of to discuss how to ensure a successful roll-out of an enterprise project and portfolio management (PPM) solution.  Below are five key considerations to ensure your initial non-IT PPM implementation can lead to long-term success.   In addition, do download the Forrester Wave™: Project Portfolio Management, Q4 2009 to read how HP is a leader in both IT-and Business-Driven Project Portfolio Management.  

  1. The ultimate long-term relationship:  Secure and maintain executive management support: To gain and sustain project momentum, executives must support the automation of project and portfolio management processes that span multiple business units.

  •  Enterprise projects cross organizational boundaries and touch multiple levels within each business unit.  To keep support from end users, it is critical to understand the value of working with the project and portfolio management (PPM) system.  Executive support and reliance on data from PPM systems quickly and clearly communicates business value.        

  • The most successful customers invariably have had strong C-Level support and engagement. Conversely, those that do not have such support often experience implementations that tend to falter or take longer time to deliver value.

2.  See the forest and the trees:  Gain visibility into the entire corporate project portfolio: Real-time visibility helps you understand how project investments are aligned with corporate goals .

  •  Knowing which projects will add value to the business -- and which will not -- is a quick way to achieve rapid return on investment. The Gantry Group 2008 Benchmark Study of PPM users demonstrated that in just one year, firms that canceled non-strategic projects saved nearly eight percent of their annual IT budget. 

  •  Visibility into the entire portfolio helps show project dependencies and adapt projects and resources when business conditions change.  This ultimately keeps projects on time and on budget. 

3. Standards are your friend:  Implement and automate standard project methodologies: If your organization is going to rely on the information gathered by a PPM system, then likewise, you need to ensure that the data is reliable and credible.

  •  Implementing standard project methodologies will provide much needed consistency to data capture, aggregation and reporting.

  • You can greatly increase project manager productivity by implementing standard project management practices across the organization. Doing so eliminates the need to manually aggregate information from multiple, disparate sources. The Gantry Group 2008 Benchmark Study of PPM users revealed that automating standard project and portfolio management practices decreased time spent generating status reports by more than 30 percent after just one year.

 4.        Keep it simple:  Don’t over engineer your processes!

  • Focus on automating process areas that will deliver the greatest initial value. Stay committed to process simplicity – because this focus will make it easier to implement and adopt a PPM system.  

  •  You need early wins. If you over engineer your processes or try to push the organization past its maturity level, users will abandon.  Again, stick to automating a process that will fix a known organizational pain point – in as few steps as possible. 

5.   Rise and shine:  Measure and communicate (early and often):   Set benchmarks that will show your business executives that the solution is delivering benefits. Remember:  you cannot over-communicate success in the early adoption stages.

  • Determine a metric you’d like to improve. For example, pick improved project timeliness or increased project manager productivity – and make a point of capturing information so that you can report on it to management at intervals that make sense for you. 

  • Establish regular communications with your management team, using real-time reports and dashboards. Use the information as the basis for decision-making. Doing so will help build your credibility, while keeping people informed and discussions more focused on facts and less on emotion.


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About the Author(s)
  • Brian is a Product Marketing Manager for Application Development Management Solutions with and previously for Project and Application Portfolio Management, with extensive experience in presales and implementation roles.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • I help IT leaders to understand how well IT is performing from a business perspective.
  • Evangelist for IT Financial Management (ITFM), IT Governance and IT Portfolio Management, consulting IT organisations for Close to 15 years on principles of good governance.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
  • Vesna is the senior product marketing manager at HP Software. She has been with HP for 13 years in R&D, product management and product marketing. At HP she is responsible for go to market and enablement of the HP IT Performance Suite products.
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