Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management 3



Book Title:  Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management:  Achieving the Next Level of Capability and Optimization
Author:  Murali Kulathumani, MBA, CSM
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:  $59.95 MSRP
Format:  Hardcover,
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer: Justin Tuley
Review Date: October 2018



The book titled Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management: Achieving the Next Level of Capability and Optimization is focused on providing a roadmap for new and current project portfolio managers who are looking for more objective ways to measure project statuses as well as an opportunity to streamline planning and governance processes.  The book details this goal through practical examples, best practices, and a focus on continual improvement throughout each step in the portfolio management process.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is broken down into 4 parts.

Part I: Key Components of a Portfolio Process (Ch. 1 – Ch. 7)

Chapter 1 focuses on what a highly effective and mature portfolio of projects looks like.

Chapter 2 goes over setting up a process on how to vet and queue projects to be added to the portfolio

Chapter 3 takes the previous chapter and shows what best practices create an effective annual portfolio planning cycle.

Chapter 4 dives into how the portfolio should be funded within the annual cycle.

Chapter 5 goes over the drawbacks of current methods of project performance monitoring.  Focus is on the Red / Yellow / Green status and its limitations and briefly talks about modified Earned Value Management (mEVM)

Chapter 6 The author makes the case for portfolio managers to review their portfolios the same way you would with a financial portfolio. The author lists pitfalls on why managers don’t rebalance their project portfolios like they should.

Chapter 7 focuses on portfolio benefit realization.  This goes into detail regarding the hard and soft benefits associated with a well-run portfolio.

Part 2: mEVM

Chapter 8 is a brief introduction to mEVM and some of the history of how the method came to be.  Picks up where chapter 5 left off and anchors it for the rest of Part 2.

Chapter 9 goes over what the artifacts associated with mEVM should be.  Lots of examples using Excel.  Technical chapter.

Chapter 10 is a deep dive into aggregating mEVM data and includes lots of examples of Excel templates and layouts. Technical chapter.

Chapter 11 is about matching mEVM to strategic goals and ensuring that projects are aligned to those business strategies.


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About the Reviewer

Justin Tuley

North Texas, USA




Justin Tuley has experience in program and project management.  Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and a MBA with a focus on project management.  His career includes 2 years in the IT industry and 5 years in the non-profit education sector with IDEA Public Schools.  Justin is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter and obtained his CAPM certification in 2017. Email address: [email protected]


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].