Like retirement savings, an IRA, or a 401(k) account, projects can and should be managed as a portfolio. We invest in them, they carry some risk, and we expect some return from them.
However, few companies truly manage their development projects as if they were investments.
Managing a portfolio of projects allows a true calculation of return on investment at risk. Coupled with effective estimation processes (an essential ingredient of any portfolio approach), companies can calculate just where the resource investment will likely give the highest return. Should we move people from Project A to Project B to help Project B's delivery, or will the negative effect on Project A cancel out any gains?
These are questions that can be readily answered with an effective portfolio management program in place.