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Main Function of the Project Portfolio Management Office
By Miley W. Merkhofer

The function of the project portfolio management office is to manage the organization’s project portfolio, which typically includes prioritizing projects, allocating resources to projects, and tracking the performance of the project portfolio. A key focus is ensuring that the overall collection of projects maximally supports the objectives of the enterprise. In addition, the office collects and distributes data for reviewing, assessing, and managing individual projects to ensure that they are meeting their expected contributions to the portfolio. As illustrated in the figure below, portfolio management provides the necessary link between project management and enterprise management.

Function of the Project Portfolio

Portfolio Management links Project and Enterprise Management.

Miley W. (Lee) Merkhofer, Ph.D., is an author and practitioner in the field of decision analysis who specializes in assisting organizations in implementing project portfolio management. He has served on advisory panels for several government agencies and has received grants and research awards for work in the area. Lee is an editor of the journal Decision Analysis.

Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Lee was a Partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he founded that organization’s capital allocation and project prioritization business practice. Lee is a founding partner of Folio Technologies LLC, a provider of web-based, project portfolio management software.

Lee received his Ph.D. in engineering economic systems from Stanford University. He is the author of the book Decision Science and Social Risk Management and co-author of the book Risk Assessment Methods..

Additional papers on project portfolio management can be found on Lee’s website, www.prioritysystem.com. E-mail: lmerkhofer@prioritysystem.com.

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