Portfolio Management Best Practice 2 – The Project Registry (Continued)

As an organization grows, so does its number of divisions, departments, and work groups. The subsequent dispersion of management responsibility and encapsulation of attention on distinct business functions can cause leaders to lose sight of all the initiatives being authorized across the organization. This unavoidable phenomenon increases the risk of project duplication and diversion of funds from relatively high value projects to less impactful ones. To avoid this risk requires informing management decisions with comparable, value-based data related to the entire body of organizational initiatives. When properly configured and governed, a centralized project registry services as an effective tool to provide managers with the information needed to eliminate redundant work and ensure appropriate resource allocation.[wcm_restrict plans=”43311, 25542, 25653″]

Expanding on Portfolio Management Best Practice 2 – The Project Registry’s key project registry features are the characteristics, fields, and governance principles that make such a tool truly effective. These characteristics, fields and governance principles include:


  • The project registry is most often created in a tabular or database form. More advanced organizations integrate the project registry with their portfolio management, business performance management, or enterprise resource management tools
  • The registry provides a myriad of sortable reports including project listings and resource needs (including over and under-staffing projections) for the business, divisions, departments, or work groups


  • Unique, ‘smart’ alpha-numeric project designator that readily communicates basic project information such as year initiated, organization ownership, and project number within the organization
  • Unique and descriptive project name
  • Project sponsor by name and title
  • Project sponsor contact information, typically including an email address and telephone number
  • Project manager by name and title
  • Project manager contact information, typically including an email address and telephone number
  • Business, division, department, and/or work group responsible for the project
  • Project cost expressed in monetary terms
  • Project cost expressed in person-week terms
  • Project benefit expressed in monetary terms
  • Project benefits expressed qualitative terms, typically free-form text
  • Project risk assessment (e.g., High/Medium/Low or risk matrix number)
  • Project start date
  • Project end date
  • Project status including the date of the last status update

Governance Principles

  • Core business operations, in addition to projects, are included in the project registry
  • Project sponsors/managers are required to review the project registry to ensure no duplication of work occurs as a part of the approval process
  • New projects are required to be added to the registry prior to initiation
  • A periodic, independent review of the project registry is performed to ensure no duplication of work
  • Project status update frequency is defined and monitored

Final Thoughts…

Besides reducing the risk of work duplication and the underfunding of high-value initiatives, the project registry provides foundational data for both the strategic planning and resource management programs. In the case of strategic planning, the cost-benefit data for both core functions and projects provides information that when combined with that of new initiative business cases enables the ready identification of the collection of activities most likely to return the highest organizational value. In the case of resource management, project registry resource data can be used to identify those divisions, departments, and work groups that are either over or under staffed; facilitating resource realignments as necessary.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember plans=”43311, 25542, 25653″]

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