Understand portfolios

Managers often have the tricky job of figuring out which projects would best help their company reach its goals and objectives. That means judging a current or potential project based on criteria that is important to those objectives. This criteria can include things like the number of resources needed, how much money will the project cost vs. what it will bring in, and understanding the risks involved. With this information, managers can decide which projects should be done and when.

Thinking of and planning projects isn’t an overly difficult task—it’s a process most managers are used to. The real struggle comes with comparing projects against one another. Sifting through a long and detailed list of projects is time consuming. That’s where portfolios in Workfront can help.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of projects that complete for the same resources, budget, schedule, and priority. For example, a marketing agency might use a portfolio to group all the projects for a particular client.

Navigate to the Portfolios section from the Main Menu, then click a portfolio name to open it.

You can use the New Project button to easily add an existing project to the portfolio. Or you can create a new project directly in the portfolio.

An image of the drop-down menu for the New Project button

Once the projects are added to the portfolio, you can use the summary information in the page header to get a high-level view of how this collection of projects contribute, either positively or negatively, to the overall goals of the portfolio.

An image of the summary information of the portfolio in the page header

You can use the portfolio optimization tool (aka Portfolio Optimizer) to prioritize projects based on net value, alignment, cost, risk , and ROI.

An image of prioritizing projects in a portfolio

Accessing portfolios

To work with portfolios, you must be assigned a Plan license in Workfront and have an access level assigned that gives you permissions to work with portfolios.

When a portfolio is created, only the portfolio creator or manager has access to it. You can give others access to the portfolio by sharing it. This also gives access to all the programs and projects inside the portfolio.

Open the portfolio and click the three-dot menu, then select Sharing. Add the individuals, teams, job roles, groups, or companies that should have access. Then determine what type of access each should have—manage or view.

An image of the Sharing option in a Workfront portfolio

Create a portfolio

To create a portfolio click on Portfolios in the main menu.

An image of the main menu

In the Portfolios area, click on New Portfolio.

An image of the Portfolios area

Name the portfolio, then click on New Project to add a project to the portfolio. You can create a new project in a variety of ways, just like you can from the Projects area. Any new project you create from here will belong to this portfolio. You can also click on Existing Project to select existing project(s) from a list.

An image of the new project menu

Create a program within a portfolio

Select the Programs tab, then click on New Program to create a new program within this portfolio, or click on Existing Program to steal existing program(s) from other portfolios.

An image of the new program menu