What are Program and Portfolio Management?

Program and Portfolio Management

Program and Portfolio Management as explained in PMBOK® Guide

Program and Portfolio Management

Program and portfolio both are group of projects however their objective of grouping is different. Program and portfolio management address the grouping of the projects in an organization for specific objectives. Let’s understand what program management and portfolio management are?

Program Management

A program is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside the scope of the discrete projects in the program. A project may or may not be part of a program but a program will always have projects.

For examples projects for a single client or projects using same technology can be grouped together to form a program and manage them more effectively.

Portfolio Management

A portfolio is defined as a group of related projects formed to achieve a strategic business objective. The projects or programs of the portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related.

An organizations looking to break into Telecom sector may group all the projects for telecom clients together in one portfolio. Multiple projects for specific client or specific technology may be grouped together as different programs under this portfolio. In a typical organization portfolios can be mapped to lines of business.

In general portfolio, program and projects are connected as displayed in the Figure.

Projects are normally authorized as a result of one or more of the following and linked with portfolio and program through organizational strategies and priorities.

  • Market Demand,
  • Strategic Opportunity,
  • Business Need,
  • Customer Request,
  • Technology Advancement,
  • Legal Requirements etc.

They are grouped together for synergy as it is more effective to manage them together than managing them individually and then they are grouped together to achieve organizational objectives.



PMI, PMBOK and PMP are registered mark of Project Management Institute Inc. 

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