Five Trends in 2023 Strategic Portfolio Planning

Heading into 2020, there were plenty of predictions about the year ahead (not to mention detailed business plans, economic forecasts, scheduled events, and so on)—and all were rendered worthless by the pandemic.

Looking ahead to 2023, therefore, I do so with a healthy dose of humility, and an acknowledgement that there will be monumental events in the year ahead that I did not see coming. However, with all that said, I do think it’s clear that some current trends are under way that will continue in 2023.

At a high level, I’d characterize these trends as having humanist theme. Fundamentally, I view this as an increasing recognition that people are an organization’s most important asset. While companies are now highly digitized, it takes people to keep these digital services running and delivering value.

The pandemic did a lot to accelerate these digitization shifts, but I’d argue these trends will continue to accelerate. So with that, here are my predictions for strategic portfolio planning in 2023.

#1. The Pressure on Project Management Offices (PMOs) Will Intensify

The stakes for digital transformation continue to grow within today’s enterprises. The PMO’s ability to contribute to that transformation will be paramount, not just in the fortunes of the PMO, but in those of the business. The days of the PMO being an administrative finance function are numbered, if they’re not already past. In many ways, the transition can be viewed as the move to become a strategy realization office.

#2. Workforce Management Will Be a Top Priority

In 2023, it’s widely anticipated that we’ll be encountering a recession. Large-scale layoffs in high-profile technology companies have recently been announced. More than ever, there will be an intensified emphasis on cultivating the right mix of skills, roles, and workforces that will be optimally suited to realizing top strategic goals.

 #3. Investments Will Move from Projects to People

Gradually, teams in an increasing number of organizations are confronting the reality that they need to invest in outcomes and strategies rather than short-term initiatives and projects. Instead of paying for discrete deliveries, they’re investing in people and trusting that they’ll generate value, without knowing up front exactly what they’ll deliver. For a long time, there’s been a desire to gain more flexibility, and this is how we achieve that objective.

#4. Tools and Methodologies Will Converge

In years past, different methodologies and associated tools sprouted up within organizations, and operated in a relatively siloed fashion. In 2023, look for increased convergence in areas such as performance management, including methodologies like objectives and key results, strategic portfolio management, and project and portfolio management; and agile execution, such as Scrum and Kanban. Teams will take a choose-your-methodology approach, while being able to ensure all these different teams, tools, and methodologies are interacting with each other, which is key to maximizing value and insights.

#5. The Society 5.0 Concept May Move Closer to a Reality

Several years ago, then Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, announced the concept of a super-smart society, which was dubbed Society 5.0. One of the key characteristics of this concept is the shift from technology-centric interactions to those that are more human centric. Increasingly, people will want and ultimately demand software solutions that are responsive to, and aligned with, who they are as individuals. We’ve started to see this transition in consumer software, and this trend will be moving to enterprise software as well.


While we can’t predict the future, it’s vital to understand trends and how they’ll continue to affect our businesses. As we head into 2023, it’s more vital than ever to have a clear perspective of the people we have on our team and the people we serve.


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