What are the differences between project, program and portfolio management in the pmbok – quora electricity notes for class 10


Programme Management is like air traffic control: You need to ensure that all the planes are happy and that they are landing on time. Occasionally you might have to put one plane into a holding pattern or land another plane quickly. You’re not there to tell the pilot how to fly the plane but to give them guidance to make sure that planes don’t collide and that they all get to a gate within a reasonable time (and that the gate is clear).

Portfolio management is like running an airport: You can land all the planes you like but you need to ensure that there is someone to take the bags off, check people in, provide them with food etc. Some of this might be running fine as BAU. Some areas like baggage might need a programme to completely overhaul or modernise handling. Other areas might need a little project to install a children’s play area to give exhausted parents a 10 min break and burn off some kids energy. But it all comes together to achieve the strategic plan of encouraging people to use your airport and providing a positive customer experience.

Project Managers have a number of responsibilities including making sure that the scope of work for a given project is completed. They do this by balancing that scope of work (timeline, tasks, etc.) against available resources (talent, tools, and budget).

The program manager is responsible for overseeing the dependencies between projects and creating program-level plans to accomplish this. For example, a master schedule is created to manage the dependencies between projects; a program risk management plan is created to manage program-level risks; and a program communication plan establishes how information will flow in the program. The program manager is then not managing the projects, but rather providing the oversight needed to ensure that the pieces of each project are completed effectively and efficiently in order to meet the needs of the other projects.

Portfolio management is the centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve an organization’s strategic objectives. Within organizations, the reality is often that resources are limited, whether it’s dollars, people, space, or equipment. Based on the organization’s strategy, there are several projects and programs that could be done; it just needs to be decided which are the right ones and in what order they should be completed in.

Beyond prioritizing and selecting projects and programs, portfolio management is balancing the portfolio so that the right projects and programs are selected and implemented. Monitoring and controlling is key to the process, since portfolio composition is not a one-time decision.

Project, program, and portfolio management aren’t the same. It’s key that they work together, however. To be effective, a portfolio manager should understand what project management is. This allows the portfolio manager to ask the right questions of the program and project managers and interpret the information in the most effective way, so that the portfolio strategy is well thought out.

With portfolio management, the organization is making sure that projects align to business strategies so it’s clear why particular work being done. To remain objective, it’s key that standards are developed for how projects are moved into and out of the portfolio.