How to build your capital project portfolio more efficiently?

For six months of the year, hundreds of senior people waste countless hours in one of the most inefficient corporate processes: the annual capital project portfolio build.

Portfolio Build Activity GraphicRight now, most companies plan millions of dollars of capital investments using spreadsheets and manual processes. Over months of tedious work, characterised by political infighting, a portfolio is gradually assembled in time for the start of the financial year.

"This isn’t just slow, painful and wasteful – it’s also risky."

With potentially hundreds of projects in the mix, and no possibility of rapidly aggregating spreadsheet information in a meaningful way, how can organisations ensure their capital project portfolio supports strategic priorities and mitigates risk?


CAPEXinsights can improve speed, transparency and control over your capital portfolio.

Businesses delivering capital projects need clear strategic priorities translated into specific investment guidelines and budgets to support a more efficient portfolio build process. This can now be managed quickly and easily using our cloud-based SaaS business intelligence platform CAPEXinsights, that can:

  • Easily communicate top-down guidance

Companies waste weeks, even months, during portfolio build trying to match their list of projects (bottom-up) with the expectations of management (top-down). Whereas, on a single SaaS platform, leaders can give clear top-down guidance: the percentage of revenue to be allocated and the percentage spreads across business lines, geographies and projects aims (e.g. cost reduction, growth, sustainability).

Having this consistent guidance overlaid across every project entered into the platform – and with build decisions registered in real time – proposers can see their projects in the context of what’s already been agreed, where there’s budget left and what it’s intended to be put towards. When senior people clash over project approvals, top-down guidance focuses conversations constructively on company (not individual) priorities.

Top-down guidance can also be easily distributed across every portfolio in the world, tailored for individual site managers to ensure their project proposals better align with the organisation’s strategic priorities. This saves an enormous amount of time, preventing people from spending months pitching projects that were never going to get up based on this year’s guidance.

Portfolio Build Dashboard Graphic

  • Update guidance quickly

Publicly listed companies often need to revise top-down guidance quarterly in line with shareholder communications. This can easily be achieved on a platform, informing all project owners of the new guidance and enabling them to check the ramifications for their projects.

  • Understand carryover projects before planning starts

On a platform, portfolio builders can immediately slot carryover projects into top down guidance revealing the buckets left for new projects to fill this year.

  • Quantify strategic agendas

Strategic horizons can vary widely and are generally between 3-10 years for organisations. At this level, top-down guidance can still be developed for each of these years and communicated to portfolio managers so that they can understand the trend in investment.


Even using a platform, building a complex, multi-million dollar portfolio will still take up a LARGE chunk of senior management time. But it will take dramatically less time than a manual process – and that time will be spent focused on strategic alignment, not trying to wring data out of spreadsheets.

For further information about capital project efficiency or to have a personalised demonstration of our product, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.