X1 Evaluate the generated strategic value X2 Optimize and balance the value generation strategy X3 Conduct a focused communication Y1 Evaluate portfolio stakeholder satisfaction Y2 Evaluate the ongoing programs and projects Y3 Plan improvements Y4 Conduct a focused communication Z1 Manage follow-up items Z2 Start, stop, or pause programs and projects Z3 Balance resources Biannual Cycle Monthly Cycle Daily Cycle


NOTE: This is a public draft of the manual. Please submit your comments using the form below the pages by the end of February 2024 and return later for the final version.

P5.express is a minimalist, practical management system for portfolios of programs and projects. It helps organizations make the best use of their available resources by focusing on the most valuable yet balanced set of programs and projects. It also helps reduce conflicts and rework by involving the whole organization and preventing programs and projects from being run with poor coordination and in isolation.

Like all other systems in the OMIMO (Open Minimalist Modules) family, it’s modular, meaning that you can use it in any setup without being limited to using it with programs or projects that use OMIMO systems; e.g., your projects may be run using P3.express, micro.P3.express, DSDM®, Scrum, PRINCE2®, or any other system without causing problems for P5.express.

P5.express can be implemented in almost any organization, regardless of the type of projects they have or whether they conduct the projects for themselves or for external customers.

P5.express can be implemented before or after implementing structured program or project management systems. In fact, its implementation has a higher priority in many organizations than program or project management.

Usually, it’s best to have one portfolio management system per organization, and P5.express is designed for such a singular setup. Some large organizations that have separate project delivery divisions, each capable of delivering a specific type of project and unable or unoptimized to deliver the rest, may benefit from having a hierarchy of portfolios. For such organizations, P5.express can be used at the lowest level of the portfolio hierarchy to work with programs and projects, and a separate meta-portfolio management system should be used for higher levels. OMIMO doesn’t provide such a meta-system. Regardless, hierarchical portfolios are not as optimized as singular ones and, therefore, should be avoided unless they are absolutely necessary.

All programs and all projects that don’t belong to a program (called “standalone projects” in OMIMO) must be directed in the portfolio management system, with no exception. In addition to optimization and balancing, this helps to avoid conflicts. Projects that are not standalone should be directed in their programs rather than directly in the portfolio management system.


The above diagram illustrates the P5.express process. Each node on the diagram is a management activity, and you can read about each of them by clicking on the node in the online manual or by opening its section in the downloaded version.

The activities belong to three cycles:

Note that projects and programs are temporary, with a beginning and end, but portfolios are continuous, without an inherent beginning and end. You would start your journey of structured portfolio management at some point, but that start is an implementation of the process rather than part of the process itself.

Organizations that work with large projects that last for a long time can replace the Biannual Cycle with an annual one.


There are two roles in P5.express:

Portfolio board

The Portfolio Board is a diverse group of high-level managers in the organization who work together and make all the important decisions about programs and standalone projects in an integrated, holistic way.


Sponsors of all programs and standalone projects must be selected from the portfolio board. Each sponsor is the only person who communicates high-level decisions with their project or program.

Portfolio manager

The portfolio manager’s role is primarily one of facilitation and coaching, but they also have a decision-making threshold used in the Monthly Cycle and Daily Cycle to make the process faster and smoother. The portfolio board makes all important decisions, and the portfolio manager’s decision-making authority should be used to interpret the board’s decisions rather than to reflect personal opinions. The Portfolio Manager should not have a direct role in any program or project to avoid conflicts of interest.

In large organizations, there can be a few support staff to help the portfolio manager.

The portfolio manager is in contact with program and project managers for various reasons. However, the portfolio manager should avoid communicating any decisions to them and let the decisions go through sponsors.

Portfolio managers must avoid micro-management and ensure the portfolio board and sponsors do not micro-manage either.

When there’s a single portfolio management system, its portfolio manager reports to the head of the organization. When there’s a hierarchy of portfolios, the portfolio manager reports to the portfolio manager of the parent level.


The following are the default artifacts in P5.express:

Remember not to collect data you don’t need, and keep the artifacts simple and purposeful. You also don’t have to use complicated software – start with simple tools and switch to more sophisticated ones only if you have a good reason to.

Portfolio Description

The portfolio description is a dynamic text file that documents the following information:

Value Generation Matrix

The Value Generation Matrix lists programs and standalone projects on one dimension and their information on the other. It can be implemented in a spreadsheet or in a specialist tool. This matrix describes the “value generation strategy”.

This matrix increases visibility and transparency in the organization and is used to decide which program or project to run next and when to cancel or pause the ongoing ones.

Global Follow-Up Register

The Global Follow-Up Register is a list of risks, issues, change requests, improvement plans, and lessons learned that impact multiple programs or projects. To make sure there won’t be mistakes, such items should not be repeated in the local registers of programs and projects, but rather, their managers should use the global register alongside their local register.

Each item in the Global Follow-Up Register should have a custodian. Each custodian should be one of the portfolio board members or program or project managers.

Global Health Register

The Global Health Register stores the results of the stakeholder satisfaction evaluations done in the portfolio management system.

Business Cases

Each program or standalone project should have a Business Case created in the portfolio management layer to describe its purpose and justification with the following main elements:

A rough Business Case is usually enough for prioritizing the program or project in the portfolio, but for sensitive ones, the sponsor may initiate them (form a team to create a high-level plan without executing it) and use that information to create a more refined Business Case.


Like other minimalist systems, it’s best not to tailor P5.express upfront. Instead, implement and use it as described in the manual and then customize it gradually (e.g., in activity Y3), only in response to feedback collected from the environment and with careful trial and error.


The private draft of the first edition of P5.express was published in November 2023, followed by its public draft in January 2024, and the final version on _____.

⊚ Download the manual: PDF (A4), PDF (mobile), plain text, ePub, ODT

⊚ Download the diagram

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