Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success

The Sustainability Wheel, 1st Edition

By Richard Maltzman, David Shirley

Auerbach Publications

186 pages | 59 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498703284
pub: 2015-09-10
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Business sustainability is the management of environmental, social, and financial demands to ensure responsible, ethical, and ongoing success. Businesses appear to have not only bought into integrating sustainability into their business plans, but have started profiting from it. This book helps project, program, and portfolio managers to integrate sustainability thinking into their projects. It contains tools that enable you to baseline present sustainability efforts and analyze the gaps between the baseline and the strategy.

In Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel, the authors present advice on how enterprises can attain higher levels of sustainability and sustained project success. The book introduces a new tool called the Sustainability WheelTM that tells you where you are and what you need to improve.

The Sustainability Wheel identifies six interrelated dimensions of sustainability integration:

  • Respect – the sustainability philosophy of the organization
  • Reflect – how that philosophy is conveyed internally
  • Connect – how external stakeholders view the organization
  • Detect – how the organization identifies, analyzes, and responds to sustainability threats
  • Reject – how the organization eliminates inefficiency and waste
  • Project – how the organization identifies, develops, and measures opportunities and converts them to projects and programs aligned with its central mission

The book contains a set of questions designed to measure your organization’s sustainability in each dimension. Armed with this valuable feedback, you can determine priorities for sustainability improvement, validate that present sustainability efforts are within your organization’s mission/vision, and provide a mechanism to integrate sustainability into everyday operations. This can lead your organization to key benefits such as improved innovation, reduced waste, higher morale, and simply better-executed projects that are more fully in line with the enterprise goals.

Watch a video about the book.



"Calling all program, portfolio, and project managers—pick up this book and read it today! Maltzman and Shirley have written a book to help anyone and everyone involved in managing projects—regardless of their size and complexity—to understand how project management supports sustainability as well as how program, portfolio, and project managers can help their organizations achieve sustainability and increase profitability. This book should be a part of every PMO and Project Portfolio Management reference library."

— Gina Abudi, MBA, author of Best Practices for Managing BPI Projects: Six Steps to Success

"With Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel, Dave Shirley and Rich Maltzman have introduced a very practical and easy-to-use toolkit to integrate sustainability from the portfolio-level to the project-level while ensuring alignment to the organization’s strategy."

— Nathalie Udo, co-author of Organizational Survival: Profitable Strategies for a Sustainable Future

"With their new book, Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel, Rich Maltzman and David Shirley have made another invaluable contribution to the project management community. The book beautifully bridges the gap between an organization’s high-level vision and the reality of the projects they deliver. But the book is so much more than a tool to help project managers align their projects to corporate strategy. It is an entire framework for assessing an organization’s sustainability with great questions that guide all the way. Well done! This is a very important book that guides us towards better projects for the enterprise, the community, and the planet."

— Susanne Madsen, author of "The Power of Project Leadership" and "The Project Management Coaching Workbook"

"For almost six decades, project managers used the color ‘green’ to represent project success or profitability. Now, the color ‘green’, or ‘going green’, represents sustainability and long-term business value rather than just a completed deliverable. The authors have shown that sustainability efforts are now becoming part of every project manager’s responsibility and the linkage between sustainability, projects, and programs. This book is a must-read because it reflects how companies are redefining the role of the PMs and the definition of project success."

— Harold Kerzner, Professor Emeritus of Project Management, Baldwin-Wallace University

"This well-researched and thoughtful book discusses the six interrelated dimensions of sustainability integration. The authors offer a workable guide for creating a sustainability strategy and linking it to an achievable delivery framework through project, program, and portfolio management. There is also detailed information on benchmarking to set corporate efforts in a wider business context.

The Sustainability RadarTM offers readers a visual way of scoring your enterprise on the pillars of sustainability practice. The authors present 20 potential operational modes, making it easy to understand and interpret your current position on the sustainability wheel. They offer practical and pragmatic solutions and reflection on how organizations can improve in maturity and commitment."

— Elizabeth Harrin, author of Social Media for Project Managers, Customer-Centric Project Management, and Shortcuts to Success: Project Management in the Real World and top-rated blogger (A Girl’s Guide to Project Management)

"In their relentless efforts to bring sustainability to our project management industry, Rich Maltzman and David Shirley'sDriving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheelpresents more than a simple sequel to their earlier work, Green Project Management. If their first work was a whispered, gentle hint that sustainability is important in projects, this book is a loud, direct, and convincing step-by-step recipe to make it real and tangible. Rightly recognizing that incorporating sustainability in the context of projects requires a change in mindset, Maltzman and Shirley present each new concept, chapter after chapter, as a break from the old. If the hope was to increasingly challenge assumptions and well-established ways of looking at project management in order to open our minds to the fluid and less tangible concept of sustainability, the goal was achieved. Using humor and a delightful narrative, Maltzman and Shirley once again make a technical topic actually fun to learn. If you are familiar with sustainability and understand project management, but are still wondering where they intersect, this is a must read.

— Cesar Abeid, PMP; Author of Project Management for You and host of the podcast PM for the Masses.

"As I read Shirley and Maltzman's latest book, I saw an important bridge for organizations striving to attain B-corp commitments or implement sustainability initiatives but lacking a structured approach to integrate this in day-to-day operations. Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel provides a corporate level model that filters down to all levels, and creates Respect (an example of Sinek's 'Start with Why') that will attract today's innovative project leaders."

— Dan McGurrin, PhD; Director, Executive Education; North Carolina State University

"Maltzman and Shirley have done it once again. Following their best-selling Green Project Management, this new book is aimed at experienced PMs that are after the next level of macro management challenge. Their innovative ‘Gear model’ analogy to a car and a road allows PMs to safely drive their own ‘cars’ (project-program-portfolio) towards final destination ‘completion’ (success), while passing the waypoints of ‘strategy’ and ‘sustainability’—all within hectic traffic of ‘enterprise’. The authors create a clear flow from high level strategic vision to everyday operational management, allowing PMs to understand their role positioning. Structured as a quest, each chapter aims at answering substantial questions, which by thinking through them, the reader actually transforms into a ‘Sustainability champion’.

With their lively metaphors, they’ve managed to convey the PM’s current short term mindset of ‘get it done’, to one which considers the long term. By doing that, they’ve simplified the essence of interrelationship of sustainability and PM. I believe this book can penetrate even through the toughest, cynic, warhorse PM and expose them to the new horizons beyond the ‘triple constraints’.

— Shai Davidov, Senior Teaching Fellow, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Table of Contents

Sustainability and Success

The Gear Model and Organizational PM

Projects, Programs, and Portfolios

The Need to Integrate—Not Add

Integrating Sustainability: A Key Trend

An Example of Integration: The Sustainability Breakdown Structure

Creating Shared Value

Benefits Realization and the Real Definition of "Project Success"

Project Success and Improved PM Maturity

Strategy, Projects, Programs, Portfolios, and Success

You’ve Had the Power All Along—and Our "3-Click Challenge"

Making the Change to Sustainability Thinking in Projects, Programs, and Portfolios

Change Intelligence at Various Hierarchical Levels in the Enterprise

More about Projects, Programs, Portfolios, Leadership, and Change

The Hub: The Respect Dimension


The Mission Statement

Ten Things to Look For in a Good Sustainability Mission/Vision Statement. Is it:

Patagonia—Case Study

Stonyfield Farms—Case Study

General Motors—Case Study


EarthPM’s Mission and Objectives

The Spokes: The Reflect Dimension


Environmental Management Plan

EMS and ISO 14001

Enterprise Level

Portfolio Level

Program Level

Project Level

Sustainability Programs and Incentives

"Ray"sing the Bar for Sustainability

Making Sustainability Personal

MAPing a Route toward Sustainability

The Tire




Claremont-McKenna’s Roberts Environmental Center Pacific Sustainability Index



Sustainability Leadership Report: Brandlogic and CRD Analytics

Newsweek Green Rankings


Global 100




Idle Stakeholders

Shy Fans

Confident Fans








Case Study: Subaru of Indiana Automotive

Case Study: AT&T



Maturity Models

Opportunities and Challenges

Business case

Environmental and Sustainability Education



Strategic Value Creation

Case Study: Walkers Crisps

Case Study: Shell Oil

Case Study: Marks & Spencer—Beyond Plan A

The Road






Are We Doing Research on Companies Similar to Ours for Their Sustainability?

Are We Using Benchmarking for the Right Reasons?

Are We Sufficiently Educated in the Benchmarking Process?


Interpreting the Sustainability Wheel

Initial Feedback

Interpreting the Sustainability Radar™ Signatures

The Signatures

Leader (Strong in All Dimensions)

Laggard (Weak in All Dimensions)

Theorist (Weak in Connect, Reflect, and Reject)

Greenwasher (Weak in All Dimensions except Connect)

Exploiter (Weak in All Dimensions except Project)

Efficient Bamboozler (Weak in Respect, Reflect)

Inefficient Optimist (Weak in Reject, Detect)

Shy Pessimist (Weak in Project, Connect)

Shy Optimist (Weak in Detect, Connect)

Unmoored Efficiency Expert (Weak in Detect, Respect, Project)

Efficient Automaton (Weak in Connect, Detect, Respect)

Pilotless Altruist (Weak in Respect, Project, Reject)

Carefully Inefficient Pilot (Weak in Project, Reject, Reflect)

Inefficient Pessimist (Weak in Project and Reject)

Planeless Pilot (Weak in Reflect)

Shy Drone (Weak in Respect, Reject, Connect)

Operator (Weak in Project)

Theoretical PM (Weak in Connect and Reflect)

Fearless Leader (Weak in Detect)

Pessimistic Planeless Pilot (Weak in Reflect, Reject, Project)

Sustainability Wheel Pilot Results

Global, Well-known IT Leader 172

Consultancy Services Enterprise

Design, Construction, Engineering Firm

But Wait, There’s More…

About the Authors

Rich Maltzman, PMP, has been an engineer since 1978 and a project management supervisor since 1988, including a two-year assignment in The Netherlands in which he built a team of project managers overseeing deployments of telecom networks in Europe and the Middle East. His project work has been diverse, including projects such as the successful deployment of the entire video and telecom infrastructure for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the 2006 integration of the program management offices (PMOs) of two large merging corporations. As a second, but intertwined career, Rich has also focused on consulting and teaching.

Rich’s educational background includes a BSEE from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MSIE from Purdue University. In addition, Rich has a mini-MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a master’s certificate in international business management granted jointly from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and INSEAD of France. Rich received his PMP in 2000 and was certified by Change Catalysts as a CQ Certified Change Management Professional in 2015.

Dave Shirley, PMP, has been an instructor and consultant, with more than 30 years of experience in management and project management, in the corporate, public, and small-business arenas. He is currently a graduate faculty member of Boston University, teaching courses in project management and developing and teaching Green IT. He developed, directed, and taught a project management certification program at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He previously taught graduate courses in corporate social responsibility for Southern New Hampshire University Online and project management at New England College. Dave has presented papers on project management and sustainability at conferences in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.

Dave’s educational background includes a BA in geology from Windham College, Putney, Vermont, and an honors MBA from Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey. He also holds master’s certificates in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, and American University in Washington, DC, and is certified as a project management professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General