Did you wake up one morning and say to yourself, "I want to become a project portfolio manager!" but have no idea where to begin?
If you did, you've come to the right place. We'll dish out all the details on becoming a project portfolio manager, including examples of job descriptions and billable rate vs salary ranges.
While there are several types of project management roles and methodologies out there, they all overlap in some way. All project management roles, including project portfolio management, require extensive organizational and time management skills, with experience in resource allocation and budget management.
If this is a field that highly interests you, read on:
First Off, What the Heck is Project Portfolio Management?
Project portfolio management (PPM) is the centralized organization of processes, methods, and tools to analyze and collectively execute current or proposed projects. This analysis is based on numerous key characteristics in order to meet the business's main strategic objectives — all while honoring constraints imposed by customers and stakeholders, internal resources, or external factors.
According to project manager Bob Buttrick, while project management is about executing projects right, portfolio management is about executing the right projects. A project portfolio management process involves setting priorities based on the business executives' common goals, and then choosing programs and projects to undertake based on what will provide optimal business value.
What Does a Project Portfolio Manager Do?
There are several roles and responsibilities tied to becoming a project portfolio manager. It's their job to oversee projects, to ensure these are being executed at full potential, and to jump in when necessary.
So, what does a project portfolio manager do differently from a project manager? Project managers tend to work on smaller, singular projects with a series of tasks that must be completed by a specific deadline.
What Does a Typical Project Portfolio Manager Job Description Look Like?
A project portfolio manager's salary can range from $62,638 - $145,972 per year with an average salary of $89,690 per year.
Here is an example of a project portfolio manager job description:
The PPM role is responsible for overseeing the planning, development, and implementation of project efforts that utilize information technology solutions, principles, standards, and best practices. The PPM develops, establishes, and maintains project management standards and procedures. Throughout the project lifecycle, the PPM obtains feedback to ensure that project efforts meet customer expectations for contracted time, cost, and performance.
Take a look at some of these current project portfolio manager job openings to see what specific skills and duties are involved in the role—or to start applying!
Additional Resources on Becoming a Project Portfolio Manager
- Delivering on Strategy - A thought leadership report done by the Project Management Institute on the power of project portfolio management.
- Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Essentials - Download this course for detailed templates, guides, and resources on becoming a project portfolio manager.
- The Major Challenges of Enterprise Project Portfolio Management - Learn and understand the risks involved with project portfolio management and how to avoid them.
- Check out Wrike's project portfolio management software.
Already a Project Portfolio Manager?
Share your words of wisdom on how you became a successful project portfolio manager in the comments.