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Project and Portfolio Management

Nowadays, project and portfolio management has the reputation of being a well-established discipline. It has benefited from a stable set of frameworks, experienced resources and efficient tools.

Nonetheless, many companies are still struggling in implementing efficient project and portfolio management to deliver full value from projects. Different factors may explain this paradox:

External factors:

  • A competitive environment increases the pressure on firms to improve their time-to-market, product quality, cost, and rentability, this in turn requires firms to have state-of-the-art project execution.
  • Project complexity is raising exponentially on various dimensions such as:
    • Product complexity and requirements (e.g. life-cycle cost objectives)
    • Organisational complexity (e.g. scattered project footprints, LCC suppliers)
    • Process complexity (e.g. synchronization of multiple disciplines)
  • A scarcity of materials and human resources puts the system under pressure as there is an increase in the number and variety of projects occurring in parallel.


Internal factors:

  • Project & portfolio management is too often not mature enough with:
    • Lack of sound implementation of key processes (e.g. risk management)
    • Poor integration between disciplines (e.g. cost / schedule consistency)
  • Project & portfolio processes are sometimes not fully adapted to companies’ specificities (product, size, maturity).
  • Project and portfolio management does not rely on robust decision-making or prioritisation processes.
  • Project and portfolio management are still suffering from poor connection to or integration with technical processes (e.g. configuration management, product maturity measurement).


CYLAD has long-standing experience supporting companies of all sizes to implement efficient project & portfolio management, with various forms of interventions:

At company level

  • Project & portfolio management system definition and implementation
  • Project & portfolio management performance assessments and audits
  • Project & portfolio management improvement projects


At Project level

  • Project & portfolio management performance assessment
  • Improvement of project management practices
  • Project Management functions support, interim management or coaching
  • Project recovery


To support clients, CYLAD offers strong assets including:

  • A significant track record of Project & Portfolio Management related missions, in a broad range of industries, leveraging best practices implementation and benchmark capabilities
  • Experienced teams that can couple in-depth knowledge of Project & Portfolio Management standards and state-of-the art practices with a “hands-on” approach as practitioners
  • The capability to improve and integrate, in a consistent way, the different dimensions of an efficient P&PM system: processes, people and tools
  • A holistic view of Project & Portfolio management practices, encompassing other dimensions and processes of the company including strategy, delivery model, environment, and constraints

Client feedback

"I appreciated the ability of CYLAD to integrate very quickly in a project team, develop skills relevant to the core of the project and master its complexity."

Head of Planning Department of an Aerospace Manufacturer

Client cases

Improvement of Project management practices, for a department of a pharmaceutical company with a complex matrix organization

Deployment of an Earned Value Management (EVM) system on a naval program

Support of a major aerospace OEM during the set-up of a key cost and schedule steering platform

Management of an essential Program Management transformation plan for a tier 1 aerospace supplier

Strengthen matrix organization implementation and project management practices (organization, roles & responsibilities, management routines…) within a pharmaceutical R&D department.


A challenging context generating conflict and inefficiency.

The As-Is organization and ways of working were difficult to understand by the stakeholders, as the department combined functions and program management activities. Moreover, project managers faced difficulties implementing an efficient project management model due to delays and a lack of clear roles & responsibilities.


Co-construction at the core of the approach.

After a diagnostic and an identification of work streams, both the client team and CYLAD consultants co-constructed the target vision, during joint workshops. Together the teams clarified the organization, defined roles and responsibilities, optimized processes, and synchronized with other projects. Thereafter, the CYLAD team ensured proper implementation with the use of monitoring tools and practices.


Implementation of a solid foundation to develop efficient R&D projects.

This mission supported a harmonization of project management practices by creating transparency, defining roles and responsibilities, committing to results, and establishing management by exception. It also secured the time-to-market target by improving progress tracking and anticipating risk on performance.

Implementation of Earned Value Management (EVM), a proven approach deployed on ~150 activities of a Naval Manufacturer.


In order to enhance efficiency, top executive management of the group decided to optimize program cost and scheduling management.

Implementing Earned Value Management is a must for program performance monitoring. A simplified approach, derived from EVM standards was applied to different kinds of activities in terms of foreseeability, nature and size.


Co-construction and co-integration of EVM baseline & forecast.

Understanding the nature and the foreseeability of the activity helped CYLAD and the client team to build a specific and robust integrated cost/physical progress forecast and baseline at WP level. Program performance indicators were subsequently edited in accordance with Make-or-Buy situations and activity foreseeability. Then, CYLAD consultants ensured robustness for EV-based performance measurements through proper choice of boundary conditions and “deliverables-driven” measurement of physical progress.


Definition and quick deployment of EVM on a large-scale program.

This strategy of close cooperation deployment with the client secured knowledge and short ramp-up. This proven approach also supported a drastic reduction of cost and time dedicated to managing data. The client finally benefited from a more robust and efficient steering including simple root cause identification for developing action plans for implementation.

Implementation of a tool at a European aircraft manufacturer, to support a program in its development phase through all lifecycle phases.


A firm intention to draw lessons from the setbacks of delays and over costs in its final Program development phases.

The concepts addressed the key issues met by the development teams working through the different countries, in “silos”, with non harmonized processes, heterogenic planning tools and no pro-activity in costs tracking and in deviation anticipation….


A step by step and customer centric approach.

After a specification of the management rules, the CYLAD team wrote the RFP statement of work for the selection of a software editor and then selected the IS integrator. Afterwards, the Cylad team supported clients during tool implementation, training of users and active change management. In particular, Cylad had in charge the coordination between project management, IS Integrator and software editor.


Simplification, standardization and improvement of means to steer the Program.

This tool gave to customers concrete means to steer the performance of the programs according to its TCQP (Time Cost Quality Performance) objectives, particularly in correlated dimensions Time and Cost. It enabled different contributors to the Program, to work on the same data in real-time, according to the same management rules.

Implementation of a Program Management Office (PMO) at an aerostructure Tier 1 supplier to strengthen its Program Management Standards.


A decision to implement a PMO to support the teams in the application of practices defined in the transformation plan.

A transformation plan was established at Top Management level and launched to improve maturity and performance of the teams in term of program management.


New PMO implemented jointly with the teams.

The first phase consisted of the definition of program management benchmarks, including program organization and program management handbooks, steering guide of the integrated program teams, program steering committees and formation modules. The second step was the referencing in the Quality Management System (QMS) of documentation (loading in the proper format in the QMS). Finally, Cylad and client teams ensured training and transfer of skills to the newly appointed PMO director.


Implementation of robust Program Management governance, practices & tools and reinforcement of teams skills.

This approach successfully secured transformation plan deployment (trust of the teams). It also resulted in a referenced documentation, unique and accessible to all. The last benefit was a professionalization of working mode.


Paul Archer

Partner / France


Sébastien Cailliau

Partner / France


Sébastien Chaussoy

Partner / France


Dr. Steffen Petersen

Partner / Germany