The Complete Guide to Project Portfolio Management

A step-by-step look at PPM processes, reporting, and software
Project portfolio management (PPM) helps organizations to execute projects in support of strategic goals and priorities.

 

Mature project portfolio management processes ensure organizations deliver more projects on time and within budget. PPM helps organizations to rigorously prioritize their project pipeline and focus on delivering business value.

Without project portfolio management, projects are often selected in a haphazard way, leading to strains on budgets and resources. Teams don’t know how a project will add value to an organization and are often left without the proper tools to manage their work.

In this guide, you’ll learn why your organization needs project portfolio management, and the importance of business strategy, governance, risk management, and stakeholder engagement.

You’ll also see how to manage key PPM processes, such as new project requests and cross-project reporting, using SharePoint.

What we’ll cover

1. What is Project Portfolio Management?
2. Project Portfolio Management Software
3. Project Portfolio Management and Business Strategy
4. Project Portfolio Governance
5. Portfolio Stakeholder Engagement
6. Portfolio Risk Management
7. Using SharePoint for Project Portfolio Management

Project & Portfolio Management Software Evaluation Guide

Your complete resource for selecting new software. 

1. What is Project Portfolio Management?

 
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) aligns projects with strategic goals and creates the right environment for successful project outcomes.

 

PPM helps organizations to answer questions such as:

  • Are we making good decisions about projects?
  • Are we working on the right projects at the right time?
  • Do we have the resources to take on this project?
  • How are projects currently performing?
  • Can we run multiple projects at the same time?
  • What are the interdependencies between projects?
  • What risks arise from those interdependencies?
  • Will our projects meet key strategic goals?
  • Do we have a strong mix of short and long-term projects?

Project portfolio management differs from project management in a few ways.

Project Management

  • A project is a temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end, scope, and resources.
  • Project management is the “application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.’’
  • A project manager focuses on planning and managing individual projects, including reporting, risks, and resources.

Portfolio Management

  • A portfolio is a collection of projects grouped together.
  • Project portfolio management refers to “the centralized management of one or more project portfolios to achieve strategic objectives”.
  • An organization can have one overarching portfolio or a portfolio for each area of the business.
  • A project portfolio manager is concerned with all projects within the organization.

Unlike a project, a portfolio is not defined by a start or end state. Instead, new projects replace completed projects on a regular basis.

A project portfolio manager has several responsibilities including:

  • Creating and implementing standardized project processes.
  • Assessing new project requests according to business goals.
  • Improving communication between senior management and project teams.
  • Tracking and reporting on portfolio performance.
  • Coaching project managers and teams.
  • Balancing resource allocation across the portfolio.
  • Managing risk.
  • Dealing with at-risk projects.

 

To deliver effective PPM, a portfolio manager needs access to accurate data to make informed decisions.

They will also require strong communication skills, especially stakeholder engagement, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

 

Benefits of Project Portfolio Management

You may be thinking that PPM sounds like another layer of process that will slow down your projects!

In fact, the Project Management Institutes reports that organizations using PPM complete 35% more of their projects successfully.

According to the Digital Project Manager, the goal of project portfolio management is to avoid working on projects of little value that drain resources.

Instead, PPM helps companies to pick the right projects and maximize the impact of each project in several ways.

  • Project portfolio management aligns proposed projects with business strategy. This means new project requests are reviewed and prioritized against defined goals and only high-value projects are executed.
  • Implementing PPM increases visibility across all projects with standardised processes and templates, often managed with software. This improves reporting, decision-making, and risk management.
  • Communication between project teams and stakeholders is strengthened, leading to better feedback and engagement during execution.
  • By taking a complete view of resources, project portfolio managers avoid bottlenecks on key projects.
  • Data collection from past projects makes it easier to predict the success of future projects, informing business forecasting and planning.
  • Projects are often interconnected in some way, for example, resources. Managing risk at the portfolio level reduces the impact of issues on interdependent projects.
  • Project teams are supported with clear, simple processes, templates, and ongoing training.

 

Now we know why project portfolio management is critical, let’s look at some consequences of not implementing PPM.

  • Poor project selection: If business goals are not defined, senior management don’t have a framework for selecting new projects. This leads to low-value projects, wasted resources, and duplicated efforts.
  • Project overload: Without the means to prioritize the pipeline, organizations attempt to complete too many projects at the same time. Capacity, not strategy, drives project execution– if people are available, the next project is launched.
  • Under-resourced projects: When projects are planned at a departmental-level, there’s no central view of budget or resource allocation. This places enormous pressure on already-on stretched project teams.
  • Sunk-cost fallacy: Underperforming projects are not cancelled due to existing investment. In some cases, there is no process for identifying and ending such projects.
  • Reduced competiveness: Project delays and failure mean slower time-to-market. If completed projects are not aligned with business goals, you may find yourself with a product or service that no-one wants.
  • No project maturity: Without standardized processes, project managers have to re-invent the wheel with every new project. This means success is harder to replicate across teams and little effort is made to improve project management.

 

Project & Portfolio Management Software Evaluation Guide

Get a weighted scoring sheet to easily compare different solutions in four key areas. 

2. Project Portfolio Management Software

As you’ve probably guessed, project portfolio management requires a shift in how projects are valued, planned, and delivered at every level in the organization.

Choosing the right project portfolio management software can facilitate this new way of working.

Here are five benefits you can expect when using project portfolio management software:

  1. A standardized approach to project management in your organization with pre-defined project templates.
  2. Complete visibility into your project pipeline including new project requests, current projects, and resource allocation.
  3. Improved reporting, decision-making, and collaboration within teams.
  4. Higher project success rates with more effective project planning and budget management.
  5. Greater insight into the business value of the solution delivered by the project.

Evaluating Project Portfolio Management Software

With so many project portfolio management software solutions on the market today, how do you know which one is the right one for you?

If you are struggling to select a PPM solution, try our free evaluation kit!

The guide includes assessment questions in four key areas (project, portfolio, work, and organizational capabilities) and a weighted scoring sheet.

Below is a selection of guidance and questions from each section of the kit.

 

1. Portfolio Capabilities

Start with portfolio capabilities, with a focus on increasing control and visibility for senior executives.

Key features include:

  • A scalable, consistent project request management system.
  • High-level, real-time portfolio dashboards.
  • Resource Management.

 

Use these questions to evaluate portfolio requirements:

  • Can project requests be easily captured, reviewed and monitored?
  • Does the product deliver immediate visibility into project portfolios with real-time dashboards?
  • Do resource reports show what work is assigned to whom and at what amount across a project?

 

2. Project Capabilities

Next, you’ll need to review project management capabilities.

Look for:

  • A collaborative toolset to reduce administration work.
  • Project reporting, including status reports, emailed reports, and project dashboards.
  • Standardized templates.

 

These questions will help you to assess project management capabilities in the tool:

  • Can a new project site be created from a standardized template or copied from an existing project site?
  • Is it possible to create, calculate, and update the timeline using an in-browser task scheduler?
  • Does the product include customizable Kanban Boards?

 

3. Work Capabilities

Work management and collaboration capabilities are particularly useful for project team members, who want to contribute to the success of a project.

They need a tool to view team-member focused reports, efficiently manage their work, and connect with others working on the project.

The three key feature sets you should be looking under work management are:

  • Centralized project sites with all project information in one place.
  • Simple task management to find, do, and update work.
  • Collaborative functions like discussions and forums.

 

Use these questions to evaluate work management features:

  • Does the product make it easy for team members to collaborate regardless of their location?
  • Can team members find and do their assigned work quickly?
  • Can team members manage their non-project work in the project site?

 

4. Organizational Capabilities

Finally, the solution should support your current project management maturity levels with the option to grow in time.

Organizational project management capabilities are particularly important for project management champions, who are tasked with implementing and continuously improving project management practices in an organization.

Three key capabilities you should look for under organizational project management are:

  • Practical deployment with low IT burden.
  • Best-practice project management templates.
  • Highly flexible and configurable solution.

 

These questions will help you to assess organizational project management capabilities:

  • Can the product be quickly deployed on premise with minimal IT burden?
  • Can you start quickly with out-of-the-box templates and the amount of project management process you need right now?
  • Will you have a dedicated Customer Success Architect?

 

In addition to evaluating the above areas, it’s also important to consider non-technical elements, such as deployment and support, training resources, ease-of-use, and the vendor’s track record.

 

Project Portfolio Management Software: Build or Buy?

As you begin to evaluate project portfolio management software, senior management may ask about the cost of buying versus the cost of building a solution internally.

This is a common objection to purchasing new software and is a logical question if you have an in-house development team.

After all, it is reasonable to expect these individuals to have the skills, knowledge, and time to build the solution according to your specific needs.

However, organizations who build their own software solutions frequently find it is cheaper and quicker to buy a solution tailored to their needs.

Moreover, these solutions typically ship with maintenance, training, support, and continuous upgrades – areas that an internal team with multiple commitments are unlikely to service.

If you are asked to compare the cost of building or buying software, start with these questions:

  • What other projects are the development team working on?
  • How configurable is the software you wish to purchase?
  • What is the build v buy cost analysis?
  • How long will deployment take?
  • Is the software easy to use?

 

At BrightWork, we recommend using your existing SharePoint infrastructure for PPM, which we’ll cover in more detail later on.

3. Project Portfolio Management and Business Strategy

Aligning projects to strategic goals is a core tenant of project portfolio management.

Business strategy defines key objectives and the future state the organization wishes to reach.

Strategy is guided by Vision (where the company wants to be) and Mission (what the company does). These objectives are translated into initiatives or projects to deliver business value.

Applying strategy to project portfolios typically means doing the right projects and doing the projects right.

Without a clear ‘big’ picture, it’s too easy to waste time and resources on the wrong projects or to assume all projects are equal and deserve the same support.

Creating a link between a project and a larger business goal also helps to motivate teams. If individuals understand why a task or process is important to the project and the company, they likely to be more engaged.

 

What is Business Strategy?

In his 1985 work, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, Michael Porter defined strategy as “a process of analysis which is designed to achieve the competitive advantage of an organization over another in the long term.”

He further named three types of strategy – cost leadership, differentiation, or focus – and recommended organizations pursue one strategy type to achieve the best results.

  • Cost Leadership refers to minimizing the costs of delivering products or services for an organization – not necessarily to reducing costs for consumers.
  • Differentiation requires organizations to make products or services that are different from competitors.
  • Focus involves concentrating on a particular market.

 

Strategy can also be defined as “a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision-making.’’

Decision-making is key to this statement, and indeed, to successful project portfolio management.

A clear strategy helps senior executives to decide which projects to start or stop, how to distribute resources, and how to manage risks.

Later on, you’ll see how key reports and templates on SharePoint surface critical project data to support decision-making.

Strategy also plays a role in governance, for example, project selection and portfolio reviews.

We’ll take a closer look at governance in the next section.

Project & Portfolio Management Software Evaluation Guide

See how to evaluate software for project, portfolio, work, and organizational project management.

4. Project Portfolio Governance

Governance is another critical area for successful project portfolio management.

 

The Association for Project Management defines project portfolio governance as:

 

“The selection, prioritization, and control of an organization’s projects and programs in line with its strategic objectives and capacity to deliver. The goal is to balance change initiatives and business-as-usual while optimizing return on investment.”

 

As you can see, governance is closely linked with business strategy.

Strong governance helps organizations to select the right projects at the right time whilst also ensuring these projects are successful.

By taking a proactive approach to risk management, resource allocation, and project interdependencies at the portfolio level, senior executives can remove common roadblocks for teams.

At every stage of the governance process, senior management make decisions about projects and are accountable for the outcomes of those decisions, especially the success of approved projects.

Governance processes should help, not hinder, project teams, and be appropriate to the size of your company. Don’t create paperwork just for the sake of it!

 

4 Elements of Project Portfolio Governance

1. Define the portfolio

Governance starts with a process for reviewing new project requests and ongoing projects.

As business opportunities and challenges evolve, so too should your strategy. As a result, it’s important to define the project portfolio two to three times per year.

New strategies become business cases, which in turn, may become approved projects.

 

2.  Optimize portfolio value

Next, approve projects that support clear strategic goals.

This includes reviewing resource allocation and deciding when to start the project, based on priorities and current projects.

Underperforming or delayed projects that are draining resources are concluded early with resources moved to other projects.

Together, the processes for defining and optimizing the portoflio form a feedback loop. Learnings from ongoing projects become inputs for refining the approval process, improving project outcomes.

 

3. Protect portfolio value

Once the project is under way, progress, risks, and resources are closely monitored. If needed, steps are taken to resolve any problems and get the project back on track.

Depending on the orgainzation, the Project Management Office (PMO) reports on portfolio performance to senior management and stakeholders.

With a tool like BrightWork, senior managers can create customized dashboards to track any project in the portfolio in real-time.

 

4. Deliver portfolio value

The solution, service, or product created by the project team is delivered to stakeholders. The project must generate value for the orgainzation.

From time-to-time, senior managers should review the performance of the overall portfolio, particularly around alignment with business strategy.

 

Portfolio Governance Team

Many organizations appoint a project portfolio governance team to implement the above steps.

It’s important for those involved with project portfolio governance to:

  • Have the right level of authority to make key decisions.
  • Exert influence within the organization.
  • Understand the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the organization.
  • Work closely with teams and managers to develop a balanced portfolio.
  • Be comfortable with saying ‘No’.
  • Have access to up-to-date project information.
  • Be accountable for project outcomes.

In later sections, we’ll take a closer look at using key BrightWork capabilities, such as project request management, to enable portfolio governance on SharePoint.

PPM Software Evaluation Guide

Download your free guide, including a weighted scoring sheet for easy comparisons

5. Portfolio Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholders are defined as “individuals or organizations who are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or successful project completion”.

 

These individuals or groups may be involved in the project itself or will be impacted by the outcomes of the project, for example, using a new product.

Introducing PPM processes will change how teams and departments deliver projects. It may mean fewer projects are executed or project approval policies become more robust.

People will resist this change, especially if they feel they are going to lose out.

Getting stakeholders on board will reduce this friction, helping you to implement effective portfolio management and governance.

Stakeholders typically exert considerable influence and authority within an organization.

They can play a key role in defining business strategy, which in turn, drives portfolios and project selection.

Winning the support and trust of stakeholders will improve portfolio performance in key areas such as resource allocation and risk management.

It’s also important to understand how portfolio stakeholders will measure the success of PPM, for example, more projects completed on time, increase revenue, or entry into new markets.

Finally, making stakeholder engagement part of portfolio governance is an important signal to project managers and the PMO.

Stakeholder engagement should be part of every project; happy stakeholders are a vital metric of success.

 

Stakeholder Examples

Typically, stakeholders are categorized as either internal or external to the organization.

Internal Stakeholders

  • Senior managers
  • Portfolio Governance Team
  • Project Management Office
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Project Sponsors
  • Project managers
  • Project Team
  • Department or Operation managers
  • Internal customers or end-users.

External Stakeholders

  • Customers and end-users
  • Suppliers
  • Contractors
  • Local community
  • Regulatory agencies. 

As PPM focuses on aligning projects with business strategy, it’s unlikely you will need to engage with external stakeholders on a regular basis.

However, it is important to consider external stakeholders and ensure project managers are communicating with these groups as needed.

Let’s review a four-step process to identify and engage your stakeholders.

 

How to Identify and Engage Portfolio Stakeholders

1.  Identify and Prioritize Stakeholders

Start by figuring out your portfolio stakeholders – anyone with an interest in the portfolio or who can influence projects, either positively or negatively.

In addition to the list above, use these questions to find potential stakeholders.

  • Who has a financial or emotional investment in projects in your organization?
  • Who will be impacted by project portfolio management?
  • Who defines organizational strategy?
  • What business functions should be involved?
  • Who gets more or less work?
  • Who must change?
  • Who must approve important decisions?
  • Who influences your stakeholders?

 

Check any organizational charts and ask stakeholders about other people who could be affected by PPM processes.

Next, prioritize this list. Stakeholders are f categorized based on their power, interest, and influence.

  • High power, highly interested. Manage and engage these individuals closely.
  • High power, less interested. Keep these individuals up-to-date.
  • Low power, highly intereste Keep these individuals up-to-date.
  • Low power, less interested. Engage these individuals from time-to-time.

 

2. Plan Stakeholder Engagement

Using this list, plan your engagement or communication strategy. Different stakeholders will need different information at varying intervals about the portfolio.

Updates include:

  • Recently approved projects.
  • Changes to existing projects.
  • Benefits management.
  • Commentary on portfolio performance, including risk and budget.
  • Impact of new or changed business strategy on the portfolio.

 

Here are some suggestions to help you develop a communication plan. These recommendations will depend on your prioritized list, available software, and stakeholder preferences.

  • Senior managers and sponsors: Quarterly review meetings and real-time dashboards in a project portfolio management tool.
  • The PMO: Monthly review meetings and real-time dashboards in a project portfolio management tool.
  • Project Managers: Monthly reports shared via email or accessed in a project portfolio management tool.

 

Be sure to document your engagement strategy as part of the portfolio governance plan.

 

3. Manage Stakeholder Engagement

During this stage, you’ll need to leverage your communication skills, including conflict management and negotiation, to ensure stakeholders are informed, involved, and happy!

Real-time project portfolio management software can simplify and improve stakeholder engagement. We’ll cover stakeholder engagement with SharePoint in a later chapter.

 

4. Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

Like business strategy, portfolio stakeholders will change. You’ll need to periodically add new stakeholders or remove existing contacts from the stakeholders engagement plan.

Don’t forget to ask for feedback on how to improve engagement, for example, increased usage of email reports or customized dashboards.

Free PPM Software Evaluation Guide

Evaluate software for project, portfolio, work, and organizational project management capabilities 

6. Portfolio Risk Management

Bringing projects together into a portfolio can surface risks, particularly relating to interdependencies between projects and resources assigned to multiple projects.

 

What is Portfolio Risk?

Portfolio risk refers to the combined impact of risks within all projects in the portfolio and the interdependencies between those projects.

As an organization tackles more projects, risks multiply –as do the consequences if risks become a reality for ongoing projects.

Portfolio risk also refers to the balance of projects within the portfolio, for example, high-risk with high-reward or low-risk with low-reward.

Portfolio risk management includes identifying and managing risks for individual projects as well as managing the risk posed by each project to the overall portfolio and the organization.

Portfolio risk management often forms part of enterprise risk management, which focuses on larger concerns such as finance, security, and reputation.

There are three main types of portfolio risks:

  1. Component risks: These are risks presented by individual projects and programs. Component risks also include interdependencies between projects:
    • Outcome interdependencies: Delivering the outcome on a project depends on another project.
    • Schedule interdependencies: One project depends on the timely start or completion of another project
    • Resource interdependencies: A project used the same resources and skills of another project.

 

  1. Overall risks refer to the interaction between component risks.
  1. Structural risks arise from how the portfolio is created and the relationship between various elements.

 

Portfolio risks may also be internal or external to an organization or caused by how an organization operates (structural risks).

 

Managing Portfolio Risks

Managing risks starts when defining the project portfolio and is part of ongoing portfolio optimization.

Portfolio risks are not static. As mentioned above, portfolios change in response to strategy, governance, and new stakeholders. Each change, every new project, brings different risks.

Of course, you have to begin somewhere. A database of past projects and the risk register for current projects are good starting points for assessing the current portfolio.

If you are using project portfolio management software, gather data on the performance of ongoing projects, including flagged risks.

Cross-project reporting dashboards in SharePoint increase visibility into risks across the portfolio and within individual projects.

It’s easy to drill down into a particular project to uncover more information about a risk such as causes, consequences, and the risk score.

In this review, think about:

  • Interdependencies between projects, such as resources.
  • The cost of not completing certain projects.
  • The ratio of high-risk projects to low-risk projects.
  • The organization’s tolerance for risk.
  • The complexity and scale of project risks.
  • Contingency measures of addressing risk for both individual projects and the overall portfolio.
  • If current projects are contributing to the goals of the portfolio and if completed projects delivered tangible business value.

 

Based on this review, categorize projects based on a risk rating:

  • Stop: Projects with low economic value and low strategic alignment.
  • Accelerate: Projects with high economic value and high strategic alignment.
  • Must-do: Projects with low economic value and high strategic alignment.
  • Monitor: Projects with high economic value and low strategic alignment.
  • Evaluate: Projects with medium economic value and low strategic alignment.

 

With a clearer picture of the portfolio, you can now resolve potential risks. This may include:

  • Pausing a high-risk, high-reward project until another project is completed.
  • Reducing the scope of a project.
  • Ending a high-risk project earlier than expected.

 

Portfolio risk management also applies to new project requests and ongoing projects.

When reviewing a new request, it’s important to consider if the project will add more risk to the portfolio. If so, you’ll need to decide whether to reject the project or go ahead with some contingencies.

Once a project moves into execution, use roll-up dashboards and reports in your project management software to track risks on the project level. This way, you can get a ‘helicopter’ view of the big picture with the ability to zoom in for more details as needed.

You’ll see how to manage portfolio risks with SharePoint in a later chapter.

7. Using SharePoint for Project Portfolio Management

A collaborative web-based tool, SharePoint is an ideal solution for project portfolio management.

 

SharePoint is used by over 400,000 customers in 250,000 organizations worldwide, increasing the likelihood of existing infrastructure in your organization.  Leveraging this existing environment will reduce the impact on IT resources.

Building project sites in SharePoint creates a single source of data for better reporting and increased visibility. Everything from project plans to tasks, documents, and reports can be stored in a standardized way in one place.

When extended with software like BrightWork, organizations can use SharePoint to:

  • Report across multiple projects and portfolios.
  • Manage new project requests.
  • Create reporting portfolios with sites and sub sites.
  • Leverage metric tiles to track progress quickly.
  • Automate reporting updates via email.
  • Predict project outcomes with scorecards.
  • Track progress in real-time with dashboards.
  • Manage risks at the portfolio level.
  • Enable employee timesheets.
  • Support project teams with out-of-the-box configurable templates.

 

With SharePoint, you can create a project hierarchy, with sites and subsites, to mirror organizational structure.

In the below screenshot, the top-level site (BrightWork Projects) has a subsite, BrightWork Project Office (BPO).

Underneath the BPO are a series of mini-project offices with project sites to manage the individual initiatives in each department.

 

 

 

In this chapter, we’ll explore how to leverage BrightWork for project and portfolio management on SharePoint.

You’ll see how to:

  • Implement governance with the Project Request Manager Template.
  • Report across portfolios and create personalize dashboards.
  • Track project and portfolio risks.
  • Engage stakeholders with automated reports.
  • Manage resource allocation across multiple projects.

 

 

Governance and Project Request Management

As mentioned above, selecting the right project to execute at the right time with the right resources is key to PPM.

Without a scalable approach to new projects:

  • Project teams end up working on low-value initiatives or too many projects at the same time.
  • Projects are planned in isolation, leading to stretched resources.
  • Failing projects are not ended, wasting more resources.

 

Taking a structured approach to project prioritization not only helps to align projects with strategic goals – projects are planned with a holistic view of the pipeline.

This improves resource management, project sequencing, and engagement levels within teams.

Out-of-the-box, BrightWork comes pre-populated with a simple process to track project requests all the way from Draft to Approval and Project Site Creation.

Using this template, anyone can log a request for a new project.  Those requests are then queued up and sent to the approver (typically a senior executive) for consideration.

The BrightWork Project Request Manager template is split into four different states:

 

BrightWork Project Request Manager template

 

  • Draft: A new project proposal is submitted.
  • Review: The relevant individual receives an email notification about the new request.
  • Pending Decision: Once assessed, the reviewer makes a decision about the proposal, including sending the proposal to senior management for further review.
  • The request is Approved or Rejected. The approver can opt to create a project site based on the submitted request.

 

Automated email notifications and reminders keep the process flowing.

Below is the PRM command center in BrightWork in action. As you can see, it’s easy to move through the entire project request life-cycle from logging a request to project site creation after the project is approved.

 

 

Reporting with BrightWork Portfolio Templates

BrightWork ships with two key templates for portfolio reporting: Project Office and Portfolio Reporting.

 

1. Project Office Template

BrightWork uses the hierarchical structure of SharePoint to create a logical project management structure for organizations.

This hierarchy typically aligns to business structure, for example, a Project Office for Marketing, IT, and Finance.

The Project Office template displays data from all the projects located under it in the hierarchy in a single dashboard.

 

Project Office Template BrightWork SharePoint

 

Individual project sites sit under the main Project Office. As team members work on and update tasks at the project level, this information rolls up automatically to portfolio dashboards for a quick snapshot of all projects.

Using the Project Office, senior management can track resources, work, issues, and risks at the portfolio level. At any time, it’s easy to click into a particular project site for more detail.

 

2. Portfolio Reporting Template

Like the Project Office Template, the Portfolio Template Report tracks metrics from multiple project sites.

However, the template only reports on projects added to the list, making it useful for personalized reporting. Senior management can create dynamic, tailored project offices as needed.

Portfolio Reporting Template BrightWork SharePoint

 

The Project Office Template and Portfolio Reporting Template both include dashboards with:

  • Project Status Reports and Charts
  • Project Gantt / Schedules
  • Work Reports and Charts
  • Issue and Risk Reports and Charts
  • Project Status Reports
  • Scorecards of Key Metrics
  • Exception and In-Trouble Reports.

 

 

Portfolio Risk Management

Drill down into the detail of selected projects

When you see a project that needs attention, you can simply drill down into the project to view why it is in poor health.

Project Risks BrightWork SharePoint

 

If the project has overdue work, you can remind the responsible party by sending a detailed email. This can also be automated to save time on a regular basis.

 

Automated Reports for Stakeholder Engagement

One of the most common challenges faced by senior executives is a lack of visibility into ongoing and proposed projects.

BrightWork provides a series of reporting dashboards in SharePoint, with metrics and traffic light indicators, delivering instant visibility across all the projects in an organization.

The beauty of using BrightWork and a hierarchical project structure in SharePoint is that the portfolio dashboards roll up information from all the projects below.

Project managers create a status report at the project lev; this data percolates up to the portfolio dashboard used by senior executives.

They no longer have to go chasing updates.  It’s all there on the portfolio dashboard in real-time. The dashboards can be built with visually striking charts, KPIs, and scorecards to quickly understand the status of the project.

With BrightWork, the reports can be emailed on request or on a schedule, for example,  an email every Friday morning with an update on that weeks’ progress.

Of course, they can check the Project Office site at any time for an update and see the information in real-time as well.

This kind of real-time visibility allows senior executives to find projects in trouble and drill down into detail specific projects that require attention.

 

BrightWork Reporter

Project reports must be actionable and relevant to your team. However, it’s simply not feasible to create and share reports for each person on your team!

Instead, create a single report with personalization options.

The BrightWork Reporter web part allows users to:

  • Filter data
  • Sort data
  • Group data
  • Add Totals
  • Add or remove columns
  • Save personal report views.

 

 

These options are found in the Reporter ribbon, available on any report in a BrightWork project site.

As we’ll see below, BrightWork Reporter is also used to report across multiple sites, sub sites, and lists rendering as a single report.

 

Sharing Reports

With BrightWork, you can build and share reports via email quickly to increase project visibility.

There are a few ways to share projects reports via email:

  • Ad-hoc, for example, a last-minute update before a meeting.
  • Scheduled emails, for example, a weekly work report.

 

Dashboards should be saved as either .PDF or .XPS format and shared as email attachments.

Email options are located in the Reporter ribbon. Simply fill in the relevant information and send the report.

Recipients can click on the links in the email to get more information in the relevant project site.

 

 

Resource Management

Resources should be tracked at the portfolio level at two key points in the project lifecycle – new requests and ongoing projects. These reports help with business planning and talent management.

 

New project requests

When assessing new project requests, it’s important to understand proposed resource allocation, even at a very high-level.

Stakeholders need to know what resources are needed on the new project and how these allocations affect other projects, both ongoing and upcoming.

Even if the exact details of every task are not yet available, taking a larger view of the pipeline helps to balance resources across projects to avoid over-allocation and bottlenecks at critical milestones.

In some cases, a new project may be delayed until another project is complete, thus freeing up resources.

Resource allocation reports can also identify skills shortages that could impact on current or future projects. In these instances, your organization can opt to train existing team members, recruit, or outsource certain tasks.

 

Current projects

Like resource reports for individual projects, tracking resources at the portfolio levels helps senior management to oversee work distribution throughout the organization.  Resource management reports show over and under-allocated resources on current projects.

 

How to use Resource Allocation Reports on SharePoint

Resource Allocation is part of the Project Request Management (PRM) Template from BrightWork.

The Resource Allocation list allows users to plan resources at a high-level when submitting a request.

 

Offering multiple project and portfolio reporting options, SharePoint will help you to save time and deliver key information to the right people at the right time.

PPM Software Evaluation Kit

A step-by-step look at PPM processes, reporting, and software

Created By

GW Pillar page

Grace Windsor

Read more SharePoint and project management articles from Grace!

Product Overview
Everything you need for Project and Portfolio Management on SharePoint

Deployment Options
Software deployment programs catered to your SharePoint setup

Customer Stories
What our customers say about BrightWork

Templates Overview

Learn how BrightWork Templates simplify project management

Project Templates

Deliver succesful projects with best-practice templates

Portfolio Templates

Get visibility of multiple projects across an organisation

Free Template

Free SharePoint project management template, deployed in just 5 minutes

Professional Services
Advance your BrightWork solution and Project Management skills

The BrightWork Approach
Discover our ‘Start-Evolve’ framework to do what you want.

3D Deployment
Get started using our simple 3-step process, focused on your needs

BrightWork Services
Advisory Services
Technical Services
Want to know more about BrightWork Services?

Already a Customer? Visit our Support Hub >

On-Premise Pricing

Pricing for BrightWork On-Premise – installed in your own SharePoint 2019, 2016, or 2013 environment.

Cloud Pricing

Pricing for BrightWork Online – Shared, Dedicated, FedRAMP, and HIPAA/HITRUST compliant options.

SharePoint templates free

Free Trial

Full access to all templates and dashboards for 30 days. No credit card required. 

Blog
Insights and articles from our team and guests

 CPM Handbook
A five-step approach to collaborative project management

 Webinars
Live and On-Demand webinars to help your SharePoint project management journey

 Guides and Ebooks
Free resources, videos, and advice to make project management easier

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This