Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management



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
Format:  Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication Date:   Dec 2017
ISBN: 13: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer: David H Diatikar
Review Date: July 2018



Traditional Earned Value Management (EVM) systems and their tools are often characterized as complicated and labor intensive.  A well-managed project portfolio is one of those mythical information technology (IT) beast – often bragged about and rarely bagged.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is organized in a very readable application style.  It is divided into four parts.  Part one covers all the key components of a portfolio management process.  Part two thoroughly defines and explains with applications the modified earned value management (mEVM) method.  Part three describes real world implementation strategies.  Part four elaborates the method’s support system ending up with how this is linked directly to the CIO office.

Chapters start with brief introduction, objectives and then the meat.  Every chapter ends with a maturity level description and conclusion tying all the information together.


In this time of information overload and short attention spans, executives will find using Modified Earned Value Management (mEVM) is a simple yet powerful tool to optimize and manage a Project Portfolio.  Kulathumani describes a technique that runs on an Excel spreadsheet and SharePoint.  While this method is not as rigorous and precise as EVM, it provides enough information to bridge the gap between portfolio theory and the realities businesses operate in today.

Kulathumani portrays the functions of a well-run Portfolio office, from its day to day functions to Annual Planning.  He walks through how projects should be received by the Portfolio Office aligned to Portfolio Strategies, Funding, Monitoring and Management. The key difference between his method and EVM is mEVL is easy enough for just about any medium to large company to use and get the same results EVM provides.


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About the Reviewer

David Diatikar

San Antonio, Texas, USA



David Diatikar’s experience in project and process work started with the Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing).  He has extensive experience in Lean Six-Sigma planning and implementation, Agile business transformation, SAFE 4.5, emerging hybrid product and process development and the supporting processes that make these work.

David can be contacted at [email protected]


Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   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].