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Project portfolio management > PPM indicators and dashboards

PPM Performance Indicators

The project portfolio performance indicators differ considerably from those measuring the performance of individual projects. Some portfolio performance indicators are the aggregation of individual project performance indicators, such as, for example, cost performance. Others are of the same nature, but expressed and measured differently, such as the Project portfolio schedule indicator. For example, if you have ten projects in your portfolio and each one of them is two months behind schedule, and you have ten other projects with each one of them being two months ahead of time, can you just add delays and advances, and say that your portfolio is performing according to plan? Obviously not. The portfolio schedule indicator should be based on an algorithm that includes several measures in order to obtain the performance of an entire portfolio.

Finally, a number of performance indicators are specific to the portfolio performance measuring and they cannot be used for individual project performance (ex. required vs. available capacity).


What Indicators to Choose?

Contrary to the project or program performance monitoring, where we can have two groups of indicators, one for monitoring the current performance of projects/programs and the second for determining the final performance of projects/programs, project portfolio performance management relies only on the monitoring of a current portfolio performance. Since the portfolio performance monitoring is a recurring activity, the proposed indicators will be calculated in regular intervals throughout the project execution.

Here you can see a couple of project portfolio performance indicators that we propose:
    CV – Cost variance (What is the gap between what we have planned to spend and what we have actually spent?)
    CPI – Cost Performance Indicator (How do we perform in terms of cost?)
    SPI – Schedule Performance Indicator – (this is an indicator based on five measures) (Are we ahead or behind the planned schedule?)
    Risks associated with the project interdependence (this is not a classic indicator, but rather an analysis of the possible impact of the performance of a project on other projects)
    Resource Capacity Indicator - Required vs. Available Capacity (Do we have the required resources in terms of their quantity and profile/skills in order to execute our project portfolio?)

For a complete list of portfolio indicators and to learn more about their calculation, contact-us

What is the current state of our project portfolio?

You have an urgent message from your boss: "I have an important meeting with senior management and they want to know if our project portfolio is going well. Can you briefly give me some indicators on this? "

If you are not able to answer to your boss in a few lines and if you start your reporting project by project, your boss will not be in a good mood. And when the boss is not in a good mood...

Portfolio Alignment

Portfolio indicators should tell us if the planned project benefits (value) are being realized. However, as the benefits are realized after the end of the project and as it may take several years, it is very difficult to measure the project benefits during its execution.

Because of this, we recommend an approach where expected project value is planned, measured and quantified at the beginning of the project (see the page about project value management) and regularly checked during the project execution to see if that value is still valid and if some project parameters (content, priority, calendar, etc.) must be adjusted.

In other words, we have to check continuously if the project portfolio is aligned with the strategic orientations of the organization.

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