This paper provides a clear and simple means of evaluating and managing a portfolio of information technology projects. The ultimate goal being a major reduction in the failure rate for such projects. The phrase “alignment of business and technology goals” (or some variation thereof) is widely used. But, how do you go about “aligning” such intangibles? And, what does “alignment” mean when it comes to information technology projects? Most companies struggle with these questions. The real problem is that they are dealing with the issues on an individual project basis when they should be evaluating all projects as a portfolio. For example, financial investors diversify. There is not a single investment that provides complete risk and reward diversification. Likewise, attempting to manage individual projects to meet corporate goals is futile. Manage the project portfolio instead. Many companies have used Project Portfolio Management successfully. While their results vary, there have been clear, definable gains from using one or more of the approaches discussed in this article. Failure rates for information technology projects are much too high. The survival of information technology as a strategic corporate service depends on better management of IT project portfolios. Too much is written about theories of management or concepts for dealing with failure. This paper is different. It is focused on practical ideas and metrics that any corporation can put to immediate use.
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