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Project portfolio

5 challenges in managing project portfolios

PMO, Project Controls
Publié le

Project portfolio management involves managing several projects simultaneously within a single organisation. The intention is to achieve the objectives set by the company. The project portfolio enables all projects to be centralised, optimising the use of human, material and financial resources.

Generally carried out by the Project Management Office (PMO), project portfolio management also provides a framework for each project and gives them greater visibility.

However, managing a portfolio of multiple projects can be complex, requiring a high degree of adaptability. Below, we will look at the challenges involved in this type of project portfolio management and, above all, how to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Prioritising the various projects

Each project is different in terms of size, complexity and activity, and responds to specific needs and requirements. As a result, the prioritisation of different projects can quickly become complex as they compete with each other.

How can we meet this challenge?

Adopt clear criteria for prioritising projects. We need to take into account:

Alignment with strategic objectives: Assess the contribution of each project to the organisation’s strategic objectives. Projects that are more closely aligned with the company’s vision and mission can be prioritised.

Risk assessment: Consider the risks inherent in each project. Projects with controlled risk or with clearly defined mitigation strategies can be ranked higher in the hierarchy.

Added value for the organisation: Assess the potential added value of each project for the organisation. Some projects can bring tangible benefits such as financial gains, enhanced reputation or customer expansion.

Return on investment (ROI): Analyse the potential of each project to deliver a positive return on investment. The most profitable projects can be given priority, especially if they contribute significantly to the organisation’s financial objectives.

Availability of resources: Consider the availability of resources required for each project. Prioritisation must take into account whether the organisation has the skills, time and funding required to complete each project.

Challenge 2: Availability and allocation of resources

The success of each project within a portfolio depends largely on the availability of the necessary resources. These resources include not only financial and material aspects, but also appropriate human skills. Effective management of these resources is crucial to ensuring that each project achieves its objectives on time and to the required quality.

How can we meet this challenge?

Draw up a list of the resources needed and, essentially, those available to carry out the project. Once the list has been drawn up, it is also necessary to assess the workload so that resources and tasks can be allocated appropriately to the right people. Project management software can allocate these resources to one or more project participants who appear to be the most competent to use them during the activities.

Challenge 3: Limiting risks

Every project involves potential risks. When it comes to managing a portfolio of multiple projects, the complexity of the risks increases considerably. These risks can be of various kinds, such as financial, legal, operational or strategic, and can emanate from both internal and external factors. Managing these risks is therefore a major concern for the overall success of the portfolio.

How can we meet this challenge?

To avoid exposing the organisation to risk, it is essential to undertake an optimal 4-step risk management strategy, namely risk identification, risk assessment, risk management, and risk monitoring. These various steps will make it possible to adopt risk mitigation and avoidance strategies.

Challenge number 4: Maintaining fluid communication

Managing a portfolio of multiple projects involves close coordination between various players, such as the Project Management Office (PMO), project managers, project teams, stakeholders, customers, etc. Most of these players may be involved in several projects at the same time. That is why it is crucial to maintain fluid and transparent communication to ensure the coherence and overall success of the portfolio.

How can we meet this challenge?

A number of actions can be put in place, such as drawing up a detailed communication plan and using collaborative tools such as project management software and shared workspaces. Organise regular meetings to take stock of each project (and possibly review the order of priorities). In general, encourage discussion with your employees in a healthy and attentive working environment.

Challenge number 5: Managing data

It is important not to lose sight of project monitoring when managing a portfolio of multiple projects, and to analyse their results as you go. Monitoring the progress of each project, analysing the results and gathering relevant information are crucial to informed decision-making.

How can we meet this challenge?

It is essential to collect data throughout the project lifecycle, including problems encountered, solutions found, objectives achieved or not, etc. Key performance indicators (KPIs) must also be established, in line with the organisation’s objectives and enabling the performance of each project to be measured in concrete terms. Using dashboards and presenting important data in summary form is also very practical. They make it easier to quickly understand the situation of each project and of the portfolio as a whole.


Managing a portfolio of multiple projects is a complex challenge for organisations seeking to achieve their strategic objectives. Although this approach offers centralisation of projects and optimisation of resources, it requires a high degree of adaptability to overcome the inherent challenges.

Implementing these solutions requires a combination of good project management practices, the use of appropriate technological tools, and an organisational culture focused on collaboration and adaptability. By addressing these challenges, organisations can turn the complexity of multiple project portfolios into an opportunity for continuous improvement and organisational success. Proactive, integrated management of these aspects will optimise operational efficiency and ensure the successful achievement of the objectives set by the company.

Choosing PROPRISM to ensure controls of your projects

PROPRISM deploys its expertise in Project Controls to offer you solutions tailored to the management and control of your projects. We have a team of experts capable of improving the quality of your projects, promoting productivity and strategic alignment, as well as reducing costs and ensuring deadlines. PROPRISM operates in the pharmaceutical, marine, construction, engineering, transport and infrastructure, and chemical industries.

Our experts play a key role in the success of your projects. Their experience is employed to ensure that resources are properly allocated and that budget forecasts are adhered to. Using agile methods and project management tools that encourage adaptability and responsiveness to change, they encourage improvement and productivity in project management. PROPRISM also plays an essential role in providing advice and assistance, and supports your teams throughout the project life cycle with ongoing training. We also ensure coordination and motivation throughout the project to guarantee its success. Thanks to our solid expertise and essential teamwork, we can work with you to make your projects successful.

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