Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to summarise a recent doctoral thesis on the relationship between project portfolio management (PPM) and competitive advantage in service and manufacturing organisations. Design/methodology/approach – This two-phase mixed method study comprises a quantitative questionnaire-based survey and a qualitative multiple-case study to address the “what” and the “how” of the research questions. Findings – This paper adopts a “dynamic capabilities” perspective, drawing on organisational learning theory to explain the path-dependent nature of PPM capability development and how PPM capabilities work with the resource base to enhance competitive advantage. Findings support prior PPM studies and suggest a positive relationship between structured PPM capabilities and improved outcomes. The research compares service and manufacturing environments; future challenges are likely to result from the increasing blurring of the boundaries between service and manufacturing industries. Practical implications – The research has four main practical outcomes: development of a model representing the overall PPM capability; a benchmark for and guidance on specific PPM processes and methods; guidance on the types of organisational learning investments that enhance the establishment and evolution of PPM capabilities; and the initial development of an outcomes and learning-based maturity model for PPM capabilities. Originality/value – This paper produces the first benchmark of innovation PPM capabilities in Australia, and is the first to include service product-focused portfolios. It is the first study that identifies PPM capabilities as dynamic capability, allowing existing research to be viewed through the dynamic capability lens and, more importantly, providing a theoretical underpinning that may influence future research and practice.