Starter for Ten Questions

Paul Naybour

I have noticed quite a few new joiners for this group in the past few days, So here is a starter for ten question.

List and describe five features that differentiate project management from portfolio management? (50 marks) 

Remember each paragraph has to cover what the feature is, why it is important and an example. So for example

One feature of a portfolio is that is is on-going where as a project has a limited time span. This is important because portfolios are often linked to the achievement of the long term strategic objectives of an organisations through a number of project and programmes, whereas project seek to deliver a product only once. For example Windows is a portfolio of products with Microsoft that has evolved over time whereas the launch of windows 7 is a discrete project within that portfolio.

Would get you 8/50 marks I hope…..

2 thoughts on “Starter for Ten Questions”

  1. Debbie

    Well done a good answer, you should try to include an example in each paragraph. A programme to improve the use of cycle transport in London would have a programme sponsor whereas the overall investment programme for transport in London would be managed by an organisation like TfL

  2. A project has one sponsor who will champion the project within an organisation, whereas a portfolio will deal with all projects/programmes and project related BAU activities within the organisation and communicate with the associated sponsors.

    A portfolio looks at all current/proposed projects and the resources available and will choose to progress projects and programmes that are inline with the strategic direction of an organisation, these can be unrelated groups of projects and those with interdependancies. A project will only concentrate on the objectives agreed in the concept phase and will also have a pre-agreed limit of resources.

    A project will use gate reviews to decide whether the project is still viable, and will subsequently agree a go/no go to the following phase, it won’t take in to account activities outside of the agreed scope. Portfolio management will actively monitor and review all of it’s projects, programmes, project related BAU actitivies and available resources to ensure that the resources are used in the most worth while way to achieve the strategic goals of the organisation. They may choose stop a healthy project, because the strategic direction has changed and resources need to be re-focused.

    A project has a defined start and end date, once delivered and handed over the project team are disbanded and the cost centres closed. Portfolio management has no end date, it constantly reviews the active group of projects and programmes within an organisation making sure resource is used as effectively as possible.

    Project management is directive in nature, their job is to direct and support staff to deliver the objectives and realise the benefits set out at the beginning of the project. Portfolio Management doesn’t try to deliver anything, it’s function is to ensure that all projects and programmes are relevant to the direction of an organisation and has the authority and experience to move resource around according to compliment strategy.

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