PMI Denmark Chapter

PMI Denmark Chapter

PMI/DTU Event on November 1st, 2017

Speakers: Prof. Dr. Alexander Kock (TU Darmstadt, Germany), Grant Sonne-Cliffort (Rambøll) and Jonas Broge Richelsen (Radiometer)
Written by Alvaro Buxens

IMG 0315BThe event took place at DTU as part of the series "Where science meets practice" hosted by the Management Engineering, Engineering Systems Division and brought together more than 70 participants interested in Project Portfolio Management for an evening of great presentations, debate and networking.

“Where science meets practice” is an event series that brings together current academic research with project practice. The topic of the event on November 1 were the challenges of project portfolio management: What creates portfolio success? What practices of portfolio management are suitable for my organization to enhance the project portfolio performance?

IMG 0309BThe evening started with a presentation by Prof. Dr. Alexander Kock from TU Darmstadt (Germany) on the findings of the 8th Multi-project Management (MPM) Benchmark Study that investigates success factors of project portfolio management. The study is made every 2 years and has been carried out since 2005 with more than 9000 companies participating, reviewing more than 1200 project portfolios, and more than 3500 paticipants answering the questionnaires in Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Denmark.

The examined portfolios come from a variety of industries; Machine Building/Automative, Electrics/Electronics/ICT, Banking/Insurance, Transport/Logistic, Public Administration, Health Care, Chemistry/Pharma and Utilities. And indeed, you may think, this will not suit your industry, which is very specific. However, unlike what common wisdom would suggest, there is no significant difference on the generic project portfolio practices across industries. The differences are more related with e.g. agility of the context, complexity of the work, etc. Therefore, the benchmark helps organizations across sectors to learn from one another.

The focus of this year’s study was in particular the role of digitalization, agile methods, and visualization. The study is still ongoing, organizations interested in receiving a thorough (and free!) benchmark assessment of their portfolio management can find out more on

Alexander presented how Top Performance in project portfolio management is measured by a mixture of MPM Quality, Project Portfolio Success and Business Success. Measurement of each of these items is based on key indicators:

MPM Quality Project Portfolio Success Business Success
 Collaboration  quality  Strategic fit  Economic success of the projects
 Information quality  Use of synergies  Economic success of the business unit
 Decision making quality  Portfolio balance  Future orientation
 Allocation quality  Single-project success  
 Termination quality    


Some interesting conclusions from this years results are:

  • Top performers have a clear strategy, dynamic capabilities, and a entrepeneurial orientation
  • Successul MPM is based on an open innovation and risk culture
  • Top performes coordinate porfolio planning with their strategy, follow a real options logic in their project investments, and purposefully plan proect roadmaps
  • Top performes evaluate their portfolio more intensively and more often and can react to changes more quickly
  • Top performers use specific software to support their portfolio management; however, the usage of newer digital technologies is rather low

IMG 0311BAfter a networking break, Grant Sonne-Clifford (Ramboll) and Jonas Broge Richelsen (Radiometer) presented ‘real-life’ examples of portfolio management in their companies. Both highlighted in particular the importance of changing behaviour – rather than changing the system alone – to make portfolio management work.

The presentations can be downloaded through the links below:

Prof. Dr. Alexander Kock (Multi-project Management Benchmark Study)

Grant Sonne-Clifford (Ramboll)

Jonas Broge Richelsen (Radiometer)