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The 7 Keys to Project Portfolio Success

The 7 Keys to Project Portfolio Success

There are seven keys to creating a successful portfolio of projects. These keys highlight what management needs to do to enable project teams across the organization to be effective and efficient.


Project Management Isn’t Just for Project Managers Anymore

Project effectiveness drives the organization’s ability to add new products and services, expand its capacity to deliver existing products/services, improve organizational functioning, meet regulatory, safety and environmental requirements, etc. Project efficiency allows the organization to reduce time to market, churn out more products/processes/services, faster, improve productivity and reduce costs.

The seven keys to portfolio success are:

  1. Commit to improving the project system
  2. Use project management on all projects
  3. Sponsor individual projects
  4. Create a project steering process
  5. Align horizontally
  6. Apply the new accountability
  7. Optimize technical processes

Take a minute to assess how well your organization is doing by answering the following questions:



Is the management team willing to commit time and resources to make the changes required to change the project system? 1
Do you have a standard project management methodology that is used by all project teams across the organization? 2
Do project sponsors write charters for each project that is initiated? 3
Are the criteria used to prioritize projects well documented? Are all projects in the organization’s portfolio prioritized? Do all ongoing projects have adequate funding to complete the job as planned? 4
Are there cross-functional business process councils in place that oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of each business process? 5
Are each of your functional managers held accountable for the overall success of the business processes and projects of which they are a part? 6
Have the technical processes used by projects been mapped and are there templates available for project teams? 7
7 Keys to Project Portfolio Success

Cathy Cassidy

As the Managing Director of the International Matrix Management Institute, Cathy helps organizations and practitioners adopt the skills and methods they need to succeed in today’s complex, dynamic environment. She is a Matrix Management 2.0™ Master Consultant and the author of several books on matrix management, including her most recent publication, Managing Projects in a Matrix. She is a key contributor to the Matrix Management 2.0™ Body of Knowledge, co-developer of the Matrix Management 2.0™ organizational operating system, and a lead developer for the company.