The pre-project or ideation phase is often disregarded in project portfolio management. Senior managers put more emphasis on later project stages, and researchers predominantly investigate the front end from a single project perspective. This study investigates how and under which circumstances the performance of the front end affects project portfolio success. Using a sample of 175 firms, we confirm a strong positive relationship between front-end success and project portfolio success. Results show that this effect becomes stronger for larger project portfolios, for portfolios with more interdependency between projects and, finally, for firms that have a strategic orientation toward riskiness.