One of the most important aspects of project portfolio management is the alignment with the corporate strategy. You are supposed to draw any form of criteria from this strategy, and then prioritize all projects against them. You can found some clever tips on the issue in the work management blog.
These are good pieces of advice, in case you have got a clear strategy handy. But how do you align projects when you have got some faint brushstrokes of the strategy? When your company has written down a painfully obvious mission statement, a lousy strategic plan, an unrelated investment plan with a 13 year span that dwarves Joseph Stalin‘s wishful planning capacity, and a third unrelated strategic plan for economic development? This is an alignment nightmare, but it could be worse. This strategic patchwork could be completed, at different paces, with new departamental strategic plans, some so-called road-maps to new objectives, and some horizontal programmes enthusiatically pursued by underfunded tiny offices.
Then you can throw the portfolio and program management theory away and prepare to select projects by pure instinct, and to priorize them by negotiation.
Have you found similar problems when aligning projects and strategies in your organization?