Rolling out a new CRM system may be costly and risky, but this type of deployment has the potential to bring greater return to your company than, say, upgrading a segment of the network to Gigabit Ethernet. Just as our investment portfolios require a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash depending on our needs, a business's IT investments should be diversified to balance risk and return.This practice is known as IT portfolio management, or sometimes called project portfolio management. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, I suggest checking out a previous Network World article by Joanne Cummings on the topic. As she writes, balancing risks and rewards of projects yields significant returns. (See https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/careers\/2002\/0401man.html).To reinforce what you may already know, consider taking a free online tutorial from RMS on the IT investment management approach. Located at to https:\/\/www.rms.net\/tut_itv.htm, the lesson covers aligning IT projects with business needs and making the best funding decisions. Take the quiz at the end, or try it first to test your knowledge and see if a review may be in order.For those who really want to understand the different types of IT impact on business strategy, you can find a free research report from Giga at https:\/\/www.mega.com\/us\/home\/giga_itportfolio.pdf. Titled "The Many Faces of IT Portfolio Management," this report dives in-depth, focusing on IT investment goals, the portfolio's impact, risk management, and IT performance and reporting.Finally, find advice for implementing project portfolio management from a Gartner. The 20-page report, "Project Portfolio Management: Within Reach?" is authored by Matt Light, who covers best practices for prioritizing and managing IT projects as well as pitfalls to avoid. Get the PDF from https:\/\/www.portfoliomgt.org\/read.asp?ItemID=1631, where it's hosted on the Portfolio Management Forum site.Next time, we'll look at some of the IT project portfolio management tools available.