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Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy [Hardcover]

by Anand Sanwal, Gary Crittenden
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 27, 2007 0470126884 978-0470126882 1
If where an organization allocates its resources determines its strategy, why is it that so few companies actively manage the resource allocation process? "Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy" goes beyond platitudes about why you should use corporate portfolio management (CPM) by offering a practical methodology to bring this powerful discipline to your organization.

"Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management" takes an expansive view of where CPM can be utilized by demonstrating that it can be used across any business line, product group or functional area, e.g., IT, R&D, innovation, marketing, salesforce, capital expenditure, etc. CPM is appropriate anywhere discretionary investments are being selected and executed. As a result, other terms used to describe portfolio management such as IT portfolio management, enterprise portfolio management, and project portfolio management are all merely subsets or slices of CPM.

The book is written by Anand Sanwal, an expert on CPM, who has led American Express' CPM discipline (referred to as American Express Investment Optimization). American Express' CPM efforts are widely recognized as the most extensive, substantial and progressive deployment of CPM across any organization. Sanwal avoids academic theories and consultant jargon to ultimately deliver pragmatic and proven recommendations on how to make CPM a reality. The book features a foreword by Gary Crittenden, former CFO and EVP of American Express, and several case studies from leading financial services, technology, and government organizations utilizing CPM. Additionally, the book has received significant praise from thought leaders at Google, HP, American Express, The CFO Executive Board, Gartner, Accenture Marketing Sciences, The Wharton School of Business and many others.

Frequently Bought Together

Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy + Project Portfolio Management: A Practical Guide to Selecting Projects, Managing Portfolios, and Maximizing Benefits + Mastering Project Portfolio Management: A Systems Approach to Achieving Strategic Objectives
Price for all three: $186.21

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management is a refreshing treatise of an age-old problem—how to allocate the resources across the firm.  It makes a very coherent argument for aligning the allocation decisions across financial, strategic and risk objectives.  The reader is guaranteed to be given a fresh look and a broader perspective on how to tackle this very challenging organization.  A must read at the top of the organization!!!"
—David J. Reibstein Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School-University of Pennsylvania

"Finally a book that delivers against an ambitious corporate portfolio management premise. A compelling solution backed by an unparalleled framework, pragmatic implementation steps and case studies. A must have for all organizational leaders trying to maximize the value of their corporate investments."
—San Retna Chair, Enterprise Portfolio Management Council Principal, TransformAction

"Pragmatic and full of real-life examples...a must-read for anyone involved with or practicing portfolio management."
—Piyush Sanghani Director, Portfolio Management, Trans Union LLC

"This book will be very helpful to any executive who wants to improve their organization's resource allocation processes and make smarter investment decisions. Sanwal writes with the perspective of someone who has been 'in the trenches' and provides clear guidance on the realities of implementing rigorous processes in the real world."
—Don N. Kleinmuntz, PhD Research Professor of Policy and Management, University of Southern California Executive Vice President and CFO, Strata Decision Technology, LLC

"Progressive thinking on a staid business problem. A well-thought, useful framework for corporate investment managers everywhere—the professed mountain is not insurmountable."
—Ronald D. Balzan Vice President - Business Analysis & Treasurer, AIG Consumer Finance Group, Inc.

"Allocating capital to new projects and opportunities has a greater effect on strategy than perhaps any other process in an organization. And still, it remains one of the least understood processes in management. Anand Sanwal's in-depth examination surfaces insights on how to link capital allocation to strategic planning. His book provides not only a detailed description of the complexities of the problem, but practitioner oriented advice for what to do about it."
—Clark Gilbert Former Harvard Business School Professor and Co-author of From Resource Allocation to Strategy

"Anand Sanwal's new book does a great job of developing and explaining new approaches to portfolio management. I especially value the emphasis on the need for good metrics to close the learning loop on portfolio decisions."
—Paul Farris Landmark Communications Professor of Business Administration, Darden School, University of Virginia

"Portfolio Management was one of the breakthroughs of modern finance and it's application to the Corporations activities shows much promise—however today it is much more art than science. Anand Sanwal's book is a significant contribution to turning CPM into a science."
—Martin Curley Senior Principal Engineer and Global Director IT Innovation and Research, Intel Corporation

"Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management articulates a discipline and strategy that will significantly benefit large—and middle-market companies alike. Anand Sanwal avoids simplistic one size fits all approaches which have become commonplace in discussions of portfolio management to deliver keen, no-nonsense insights that will strengthen your organization."
—Rajesh Shah Executive Vice President, MS International, Inc.

"This is a must read for executives, managers, and staff; and beginners as well as seasoned practitioners of portfolio management. Portfolio management is not about IT. It is about the 'business-of-the-business;' organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and investment, resource and operational optimization and differentiation. Anand demonstrates a gifted talent to clearly and succinctly articulate why portfolio management is both so difficult and yet so simplistic. Read it, understand it, embrace the journey—the challenges, the opportunities, the value, the benefits."
—Dennis E. Wells,Information Services Policy and Planning Manager, Oregon Department of Human Services

"Regardless of a company's size, it is very critical to have a compass for investment decisions especially in uncertain business environments. With data driven corporate portfolio management, I am able to lead my company in the right direction in a more effective and efficient way."
—Toshi Sakuma CEO Sakuma International S.A.

"Thorough, to the point and extremely pragmatic, Anand Sanwal has provided an excellent case and strategy for moving away from currently anemic methods of corporate and strategic planning. He provides a clear framework to help organizations align investments with strategic, financial and risk objectives ultimately enabling them to realize the power of corporate portfolio management."
—Guhan Swaminathan Co-Founder and Managing Director Virgo Capital

"Corporate portfolio management does not have to be a mystery. And it certainly should become a practical guide to putting limited resources to work on the most strategically beneficial work. Anand's approach to enterprise portfolio management is direct, practical, and focused, and is based on proven practices that I have implemented in organizations of all sizes worldwide."
—Ernie Nielsen Managing Director-Enterprise Project Management and Masters' Professor of Project Management-Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University

"This new book points the way to new methods for transforming your organization through better processes and optimizing portfolio management. Leading edge companies moving beyond budgeting can use it to learn how continuous planning can lead to higher returns."
—By Steve Player Program Director, Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT), North America

From the Inside Flap

Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management
Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy

An essential resource for anyone involved with managing or supervising their organization's discretionary investments, Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management provides practical guidance for C-level executives as well as finance, IT, marketing, R&D, and business managers serious about maximizing and realizing their financial and strategic objectives. With comprehensive coverage, author Anand Sanwal—a leading authority on corporate portfolio management (CPM)—shares a pragmatic and proven framework for building a robust CPM capability within an organization.

Written by a practitioner for executives and fellow practitioners, this crucial resource offers a guide to enabling CPM within an organization by focusing on the behavioral and process dimensions vital to making CPM a success. Starting with a Foreword by Gary Crittenden, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of American Express, this book avoids a simplistic "one size fits all" approach to the evaluation of an organization's investments, and instead recognizes that every organization varies its view on investments, priorities, risk tolerance, strategy, and financial goals.

CPM has yielded tremendous results at leading companies, and case studies demonstrating the power of CPM are provided for a diverse array of organizations including American Express, TransUnion, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, and the State of Oregon Department of Human Services.

Keeping corporate and management jargon to a minimum, Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management details a practical capability that works best when organizational behavior and process are aligned. It covers relevant topics including:

  • A description of corporate portfolio management and why it is important to your organization's success

  • Mismanaging your corporate investment portfolio: the Seven (and a half) Deadly Sins of CPM

  • A detailed four-step process to bring CPM to your organization

  • How CPM can be applied to various functional areas including IT, Innovation/R&D, Marketing/A&P, capital expenditure, and sales force

  • Useful tools, frameworks, and practices to enable CPM

Filled with proven strategies and examples, this groundbreaking guide will demonstrate how to capture a more holistic view of your company's investment portfolio while working smarter to deploy its finite resources. An invaluable companion Web site supplies forms, checklists, and useful exhibits that can help organizations on their road to achieving an optimal corporate portfolio.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470126884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470126882
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am currently Vice President, Investment Optimization & Strategic Business Analysis at a Fortune 50 Diversified Financial Services company. Investment Optimization is more commonly known as corporate portfolio management and in this role, I manage the company's discretionary investment spend (several billion dollars per annum). The company's portfolio management efforts have received numerous awards, are patent-pending and have been chronicled by many organizations. Additionally, I lead CFO's internal strategic planning group.

I am the holder of a corporate portfolio management patent as well as the co-chair of the Corporate Portfolio Management Association ( The corporate portfolio management discipline I have built within my organization has been recognized by the CFO Executive Board, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable, Gartner and the Enterprise Portfolio Management Council. It has also has been recognized by Baseline Magazine with 2 prestigious Baseline ROI Awards as well as by InfoWorld.

Most recently, I've written a book entitled "Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management". I enjoy speaking about this powerful discipline and and have addressed organizations such as the CFO Executive Board, Gartner, Beyond Budgeting Roundtable, Corporate Portfolio Management Association, Enterprise Portfolio Management Council and many corporate management teams.

My author site is at

Thanks to my team and colleagues at my company as well as peers at many other organizations who've I've had the privilege of learning from.

I hope you enjoy the book and this site and look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By SanGov
I recently attended a decision analysis conference and that is where I learned about corporate portfolio management after hearing Anand Sanwal speak on this topic. His session was highly informative, and as a result, I purchased the book (despite the price tag) to learn more, and it's been very helpful. I was impressed by the no nonsense approach of the book and the pragmatic advice that is provided. The book avoids consulting and academic jargon and simplistic generalities to provide a very readable book on this very important methodology to optimize resource allocation. I've started to build the business case for portfolio management within my company and am relying heavily on the insights from the book to help in my effort. While our organization is still early in our corporate portfolio management journey, the concepts from the book have already been invaluable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best CPM books I have read! May 27, 2007
As a senior finance professional in a large healthcare system, we continually struggle with deciding amongst the numerous discretionary capital investment proposals we get every year. Although we generally talk about our investments as a portfolio, we've really never managed it as such. Instead, I'd characterize the process typically as highly politicized and much more art than science. There has, however, been a recognition within the system that things need to change.

And so I picked up Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management looking to see whether it might actually help us move towards a real portfolio approach. The book has provided a practical view into making CPM a practice within our organization. I particulary liked and am trying to embrace Sanwal's data-driven theme especially as our organization has tended to be more decibel-driven as he calls it. I've given the book to all my direct reports as required reading and I anticipate the book will be a valuable resource as we move towards enabling CPM.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Alike most readers who have reviewed the book on these pages, I approached "Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management" with much gusto. Despite the catchy title, I soon discovered that the stake did not match the sizzle.

What is undobtedly the most valuable contribution of the book is its practical approach to managing corporations as portfolios. The book contains a number of proven examples that a pactitioner is sure to find useful. This is also what the author promises to do: to write a book from the point of view of a practitioner for the purposes of enlightening a fellow practitioner. So much so good.

From the perspective of an (customer) portfolio management expert (i.e. advanced level practitioner), I found the book quite "light" on all of the key words in the title: corporate portfolio management, aligning investment proposals, and organizational strategy. In more practical terms, the book does not manage to answer the question stated on the cover: how to align investment proposals with organizational strategy?

All in all, I find the book an OK source if you are an absolute beginner and need to get a first glimpse of the subject matter. For anyone with more ambitious aims, the book may not live up to its promise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Resource July 17, 2007
By Ahmar
Sanwal's Seven Deadly Sins are a fantastic guide for anyone responsible for corporate/capital allocation. One of my favorites is Sin #3 - regarding emotion overriding data-driven decision-making. Here, Sanwal references an adage that rings all too true, "What gets measured, gets managed." In his sins, the author takes complex decisions making processes and boils them down to their essence. Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management is an essential part of any manager's library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Optimizing Corpororate Portfolio Management gives a clear path to greater organizational efficiency. The lessons from the book are applicable not only for the private sector but are very easily generalized to the public sector as well. As someone who has spent meaningful amounts of time in both areas, I found the combination of frameworks and case studies allowed me to understand Sanwal's optimization philosophy and still understand where and where it is not applicable. Needless to say, I found it a worthwhile read, and a great investment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book provided a sad wake up call May 27, 2007
It was a sad realization as I read this book to understand that, in the words of the author, the technology company I work for is unconsciously incompetent when it comes to the way we do our resource allocation. The book thoughtfully outlined a method and strategy to move us out of our current malaise. The case studies were also quite helpful in showing how different companies have done this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting/Informative Reading. May 7, 2007
By Sam34
A great resource on corporate portfolio management filled with practical ideas and no nonsense advice. Our company has been struggling with this concept for some time and Mr. Sanwal's clear insights on this topic gives us hope that we can eventually achieve the promise of portfolio management. Highly recommend.
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I lead my company's IT portfolio management effort, and this is one of the most well-written strategy books I've ever come across. It does an amazingly good job of demystifying what can be a complex topic.

Major pros of the book:
- No jargon, acronyms and generally useless platitudes and overgeneralized frameworks like I've seen in other books on the topic. Straightforward, conversational tone makes the book very easy to read.
- Very practitioner oriented
- American Express case study - What the company has achieved is remarkable and definitely the best example I've seen
- 7.5 deadly sins of corporate portfolio management - These were spot on

Optimizing Corporate Portfolio Management: Aligning Investment Proposals with Organizational Strategy
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
The book provides a sophisticated yet practical approach to Corporate Portfolio Management (CPM) which invites managers to consider many facets that will challenge or support the... Read more
Published on September 29, 2007 by Pelin Demirel
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful do-ers guide to resource allocation
The book highlights a significant problem in the corporate world. The seven deadly sins section idenitifies key challenges found in many companies while the case studies provide... Read more
Published on September 17, 2007 by gmusse
5.0 out of 5 stars High on substance and style
Definitely one of the best books that I have read on the subject! It combines well the academic aspects of portfolio management with honest insights into corporate realities. Read more
Published on September 14, 2007 by Subhradeep Mohanty
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise approach to CPM
I came across this book through the Corporate Portfolio Management Association and thought it might offer a good overview of portfolio management. Read more
Published on August 18, 2007 by R. Shah
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read
I heard about this book at a CFO Magazine conference recently when a speaker mentioned it and decided to pick it up as resource allocation is an issue my company struggles with. Read more
Published on July 30, 2007 by N. Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone concerned about resource allocation
Mr. Sanwal provides a very practical guide to portfolio management. This book will provide some great insights to mananging investments and help avoid some common pitfalls. Read more
Published on June 25, 2007 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Case Studies on Resource Allocation
A well written book on Corporate Portfolio Management, esp. case studies gives a good understanding on resource allocation, however big or small organization. Read more
Published on June 17, 2007 by Andy Parogi
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Practical Guide for Managing Investments in Big Corporations
With a clear definition and scope for investments, the book provides a very practical solutions for big corporations like Amex to manage investments from both bottom-up and... Read more
Published on June 5, 2007 by ET
5.0 out of 5 stars innovative approach
I strongly recommend this book to finance professionals involved in Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting as well as those with P&L responsibility working on the front... Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by J. Wolfensohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Framework for CPM
Anand Sanwal's book is a great resource for any finance professional looking to assess or evaluate corporate investments. Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by H, Amanda
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