How Does Strategic Portfolio Management Relate To Project Management?

In this post, the relationship between strategic portfolio management and project portfolio management is explored. Find out the best choice for you.


For many project managers, the success of any given endeavor is all thanks to a few key elements. These things include planning, organization, monitoring, and execution, and each of these elements needs to happen promptly. Good project managers appreciate that a strategic approach is the key to success, and to that end, strategic portfolio management is crucial.


Strategic portfolio management (SPM) is vital because it helps managers decide what areas to direct their team’s efforts. A crucial aspect of strategic portfolio management is using limited resources to achieve big-picture.


Strategic Portfolio Management can be interpreted and broken down in many ways. For us, Strategic Portfolio Management involves six major principles:


  • Including the correct people at the right level in a timely way.
  • Creating value at every stage of the project.
  • Using straightforward methods of evaluation.
  • Identifying how unforeseen variables might impact decision-making.
  • Adopting a collaborative and inclusive approach.
  • Enabling efficient communication.


Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) vs. Project Portfolio Management (PPM)

Project portfolio management typically involves coordinating numerous projects to achieve a giant objective. Despite the advantages of Project Portfolio Management, it can be challenging to individually rely on PPM in a fast-changing business world like the one we live in today.


What should you rely on then? Strategic Portfolio Management.
Strategic Portfolio Management aims to align project portfolio management with an organization’s strategic objectives. This puts SPM above PPM on the project management ladder.


We have an analogy for you that should explain the relationship between Strategic Portfolio Management and Project Portfolio Management:


Think of a modern-day football club. The club embarks on numerous projects to win championships, including signing new players, building better training facilities, expanding the stadium to accommodate new players, and generally creating an enabling environment to compete.


The management of all these projects in a portfolio is Project Portfolio Management. But, a football club can do all of that and still not become successful.With Strategic Portfolio Management, the club will be able to identify projects that are not very helpful to the primary goal of winning championships. For example, the club might delay stadium expansion and instead direct its limited resources to search for a new manager.


The central element that separates the two concepts is — SPM’s function is to align projects with a company’s strategy.

Project management is about doing a project right. PPM is about doing the right projects. SPM is about doing a project right, doing the right projects, and ensuring that the right projects are done in line with organizational strategies.In the end, the true success of a project is defined by its overall impact on an organization. Strategic decisions have to be made about which tasks are worth your time and resources and how those investments can best efficiently benefit the company’s goals for you or others who will receive them later down the line.


Strategic Portfolio Management Software

To keep up with the required attention, monitoring, analysis, and management levels for Strategic Portfolio Management, many organizations rely on SPM software. Strategic portfolio management software facilitates SPM by allowing multiple projects to happen simultaneously while still being monitored closely enough that necessary adjustments may occur quickly if need be–allowing professionals more opportunities without overburdening themselves too much!


There’s a strong relationship between strategic portfolio management and project portfolio management. However, it’s the sort of relationship that exists between a petrol-powered vehicle and an electric-powered one. Both can get you to where you’re going, but one is more energy-efficient and in tune with modern demands.


Any conversation worth its salt on SPM software must take PPM software into consideration. But like the petrol-powered vehicle, PPM is starting to be not just enough in the contemporary project management space.


Numerous software tools can carry out portfolio management for projects. You can often divide the approach of these software tools into two — the conventional PPM approach and the more forward-looking SPM approach. Here’s a list of some PPM tools that fall into each of those categories —


Conventional PPM Approach (Asana, Trello, Monday)



Asana is a SaaS web and mobile app launched in 2012. Asana is a project management tool for teams. This project management app helps teams stay organized by sharing tasks and files, assigning tasks, prioritizing tasks, and setting deadlines. The user can access this data via a list view. With Asana’s timeline feature, teams can see how their tasks relate to one another. Project managers can use Asana to share resources, define work stages for their teams, and identify bottlenecks. A dashboard and reporting, and analytics are among Asana’s features.



Trello is a web-based list app that came out in 2020. Trello allows managers to create task boards with multiple columns, and tasks can be moved between these columns based on their progress. For example, ‘to-do,’ ‘in progress,’ and ‘done’ columns.
Trello allows project managers to create ‘boards.’ These boards organize projects by listing team members, tasks, and deadlines. Project management apps like Trello can help project managers keep their workload flowing by highlighting potential bottlenecks.  Trello, like Asana, has portfolio & project management, resource, collaboration, milestone, reporting, and analytics features. Unlike Asana, Trello lacks a dashboard. It can be used with over 100 key tools, making it very versatile.



Monday is another conventional portfolio management option for project managers. Monday, founded in 2012, is a web and mobile OS for project managers. It’s a visual platform, like Asana and Trello, that project managers can customize to provide a high-level overview of projects. Monday displays information in a column format, indicating the task, the team member assigned to it, its status, due date, and priority relative to other tasks in the project manager’s portfolio. A dashboard and reporting, and analytics are among Monday’s open-style platform features.


Forward-looking Strategic Portfolio Management Approach (Uppwise)

Uppwise is a tool dedicated to connecting projects with organizational strategies — precisely what you need in strategic portfolio management software. By creating software that effectively identifies and analyses company strategies, Uppwise can harmonize all project activities involving every stakeholder to fit in the bigger picture.


The Uppwise SPM software has a user-friendly and detailed dashboard that provides every bit of analysis to help project managers identify bottlenecks and optimize workflow. Performance metrics, KPI, and other relevant data are all seamlessly gathered and presented on Uppwise. Perhaps, Uppwise’s biggest strength is its agility and adaptiveness. The software can help project managers build a strategy map, create separate project portfolios, and create strategic funding to ensure that the best strategic projects get all the attention they deserve. The Uppwise software is highly intelligent, prioritizing strategy-to-execution alignment above everything else.


Strategic Portfolio Management. All-day, every day

Project portfolio management will always be relevant in project management. However, as the business world becomes increasingly complicated, businesses must now look for a way to manage projects in the best way possible using limited resources. Fortunately, strategic portfolio management is better than project portfolio management at doing just that. With proper modern-day SPM software —agility, adaptiveness, comprehensive analysis— on the side of project managers, success becomes far easier to achieve.