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Project Portfolio Management

An Insider’s Guide to Modern PPM: Evolving Approaches and Technology

Learn the four dimensions of modernizing project portfolio management.

Published By Angie Parsons

PMOs are in a state of transition: ever shifting to support different teams, ways of working, strategic objectives, transformation programs, priorities, and more. Managing this level of complexity and constant change requires a modern approach to PPM – one that positions the PMO to become a more strategic creator of business value.

The Insider’s Guide to Modern PPM” defines what this means and the competencies needed to confidently and effectively traverse the journey. Befitting a novel approach, this is a different type of buyer’s guide. It focuses on how PMOs should evolve in the context of four dimensions of modern PPM:

  • Empowered Teams
  • Adaptive Portfolio Planning and Funding
  • Flexible Capacity Planning
  • Enhanced Visibility and Streamlined Governance

Intrigued? The Insider’s Guide also presents the critical capabilities essential to each dimension as well as technologies that can facilitate the journey. In the meantime, here is a short summary of all four dimensions.

Empowered Teams

Empowered teams deliver business value. Consequently, modernizing PPM means supporting teams no matter what methodology they use – from waterfall projects, to collaborative, to Lean-Agile approaches to work delivery and beyond.

For example, a project team focused on tasks and project plans has different needs than Agile teams focused on flow and throughput. Critical capabilities for empowering teams are equipping them with the right technologies and applications based on their chosen methodologies. PMOs should also focus on program management to facilitate high-quality outcomes across teams.

Modern PPM software enables PMOs to link all types of work back into the integrated strategy and portfolio plans. This ensures that stakeholders retain visibility into status, dependencies, and strategic alignment – and can adjust as needed.

Adaptive Portfolio Planning and Funding

In modern PPM, portfolio planning focuses on outcomes and benefits, rather than tasks and outputs. This is a transition away from projects towards programs and product-centric delivery. Planning becomes more continuous, and funding becomes more flexible, enabling PMOs to realign quicker as things change.

PMOs should explore PPM solutions that can facilitate incremental funding and associate funding with defined business outcomes. Scenario planning is also a critical capability, such as modelling reallocation of both funding and capacity within and between portfolios to understand impacts and balance trade-offs.

Flexible Capacity Planning

With the movement towards cross-functional, empowered teams, capacity planning becomes more about team-level support. Modern, flexible resource capacity planning is not just about selecting the right people and teams and assigning them to the right work. It’s also about making intelligent adjustments when demands and priorities change – as they often do.

Modern PPM software can facilitate capacity planning via capabilities such as modeling realignment of resources and teams across the portfolio, taking current work into consideration. Advanced solutions can also help support empowered teams and manage the constraints and dependencies across teams, shared resources, and teams-of-teams.

Enhanced Visibility and Streamlined Governance

With teams assuming more responsibility for day-to-day execution, PMOs are in a prime position to lead the way toward a more flexible, streamlined approach to governance. Gone are the days of rigor and control – the right level of governance enables faster decision-making, often at the team level, as well as delivery of products and services that add value.

Modern PPM solutions provide the analytics and visibility needed to track progress, manage dependencies between teams, and mitigate risk. Teams need guidance on what decisions they can make and which ones to escalate to management. PMOs increase speed with clear guidelines and actively work with stakeholders to create executive line of sight to establish KPIs and OKRs that can quickly identify the need to pivot, adjust funding or capacity, or deprioritize.


By honing these four dimensions – team delivery, portfolio planning and funding, capacity planning, and visibility and governance – PMOs can become better at navigating change. This modern PPM approach sets up the organization to quickly realign to shifting priorities and adapt to new ways of working. PMOs can build organizational agility and increase responsiveness while accelerating on-strategy delivery.  

The journey starts with the PMO’s own evolution towards becoming a more strategic business advisor, enabler of teams, and driver of value. When this is the goal, traditional PPM tools and methodologies simply don’t suffice. Modern PPM software provides the intelligence and capabilities needed to keep the organization delivering on strategy and pivot quickly.

Making this transition effectively is also about finding the right partner that appreciates the uniqueness of each business and has guided many through the journey. Look for a partner that:

  • Understands where your organization is today, the key components that need to change, and achievable steps in that journey
  • Can adapt when different parts of your organization are in different stages
  • Allows you to create a roadmap to successfully guide your transformation journey through today’s hybrid reality

Use “The Insider’s Guide to Modern PPM” to help your PMO find the right solution.

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Written by Angie Parsons Sr. Manager of Product Marketing & PPM GTM Team Lead, Planview

Angie Parsons is responsible for driving go-to-market strategy, positioning, and operationalization of the Project Portfolio Management solution at Planview, leading a global cross-functional Agile Go-to-market team comprised of product marketing, demand generation, content strategy, and sales development. Additionally, Angie supports customer advocacy and events, as well as Planview’s analyst program. Fun facts: Angie enjoys sharing her joy of PowerPoint for creative storytelling, and in her spare time also teaches group fitness classes. Angie is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA.