Project Portfolio Management Tool Selection

Case Study:

Project Portfolio Management Tool Selection

Project Mission and Background

Our client, a large municipal IT department, embarked upon a project to purchase and install a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) system. The system needed to manage several hundred IT projects, as well as the infrastructure that supports those applications. Each of five business departments within the municipality, including a metro airport, public transportation, city wide ERP, and public works, needed a solution which would support their unique functional and technical specifications.



The IT department had no recent experience in portfolio management or the procurement of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) systems. With many competing interests, identifying and classifying the selection criteria for the PPM system became a challenge. Conflicting needs, overlapping requirements, missing requirements, and inadequate understanding of the business and technical capabilities of a PPM system created a stalemate in the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP).


The client faced a struggle to determine how the hundreds of technical and operational requirements would be prioritized across the various stakeholders, as well as how those requirements would be mapped in order to align with the IT governance and enterprise architecture needs of the city.

Our Approach

Using our Deliverables Based Planning® framework, Lewis Fowler guided the development of the business and technical requirements, produced the RFP, and established the PPM tool selection criteria using industry-standard measures. We applied our Weill and Ross-based Product Selection Method to the creation of an RFP that covered the business, technical, and operational aspects of project portfolio management. This method defines the IT governance process areas and decision rights used to classify and prioritize system requirements.


Lewis Fowler also constructed a Paired Comparison Analysis (a technique for scoring and ranking alternatives) for the selection criteria to assure the governance processes were represented along with the needs of the individual stakeholders.

Direct Benefits

By choosing Lewis Fowler, the IT department gained access to industry research and experience in the development and procurement of PPM systems along with a set of selection criteria mapped to the stakeholder needs, Enterprise Architecture, and IT Governance decision rights.



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