Portfolio analysis overview

Summary: Learn what a portfolio analysis is and how to get started doing portfolio analyses in Project Web App.
Applies to: Project Server Subscription Edition, Project Server 2019, Project Server 2016, Project Server 2013

Project Web App can help you analyze your projects to determine which of them will give you the best return on your investment of both budget and resources. This process is known as portfolio analysis.

A portfolio is just a collection of projects or project ideas that you define. For example, next quarter's IT projects, or next year's new products. A portfolio analysis is an interactive way of choosing the projects that offer you the best business value that can be accomplished with the people and the budget that you have available.

You might have a lot of project ideas that you want to sort through to determine what's going to give you the best business value. Or you might have a well-defined list of projects to do but not enough budget to do all of them. In either case, creating a portfolio analysis in Project Web App can help you determine which projects will give you the best business value for the budget and resources that you have available.

Business drivers

Project Web App uses business drivers that you define to help you select your projects.

A business driver is a goal that your company wants to accomplish. For example, improving customer satisfaction, expanding market share, or reducing IT costs. (It should be something really concrete that you can measure.) In Project Web App, you can define and prioritize your business drivers, and then define how each business driver is affected by a given project.

For example, a project to open a new retail store might have a strong influence on your expand market share business driver, but no influence on your reduce IT costs business driver. A project to upgrade your email system might have a strong influence on your reduce IT costs business driver, but none on your improve customer satisfaction and expand market share business drivers.

By defining the impact that each project or project idea has on each business driver, you give Project Web App the information that it needs to help you prioritize your projects.

What's a portfolio analysis?

Once your business drivers have been defined and prioritized, you can create a portfolio analysis.

Creating a portfolio analysis is the process of selecting a group of project ideas and, using the business drivers that you have defined, determining which are the best projects to do given your budget.

In Project Web App, you can create multiple analyses for a given set of projects and compare them to each other to help determine the best value for the budget that you have available.

Getting started

Here's what you need to do to get started with portfolio analysis in Project Web App:

  1. Define your business drivers. You can define as many as you need, but too many can become unmanageable. You don't have to use all of them for every analysis, so you can define specialized business drivers if you need to.

  2. Prioritize your business drivers. Basically, this means deciding which business drivers are more important than others. You can create multiple prioritizations, so different portfolio managers can each have their own, or you can create different prioritizations for different types of projects.

  3. Rate the impact for each driver for your projects. You can do this when the project is created by including the StrategicImpact project detail page in your workflow, or you can do this as part of creating a portfolio analysis (it's in the wizard).

  4. Choose the projects that you want to prioritize, and create a portfolio analysis.