Portfolio Management Guide, Final Public Consultation Draft

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Programmes and Projects have dominated the headlines in recent years, becoming the focus of an organisation’s ability to manage Change. But how can organisations really be sure that the Programmes and Projects they are delivering are the right ones? Can Senior Management be sure that customer needs will be met, that the Strategic Objectives will be delivered? Can government departments be certain that their visions and targets will be achieved?

In times of rapid change, budgetary constraints and high risk, it is shocking that some organisations continue to waste effort and resources by delivering the wrong Programmes and Projects.

This is where Portfolio Management will help. Portfolio Management is critically important because it ensures that the ‘right’ Programmes and Projects are started and the ‘wrong’ ones are not (or are stopped if already underway). The right Programmes and Projects are those that collectively make the greatest contribution to an organisation’s strategic objectives and targets.

This Portfolio Management guidance provides flexible principles, including Senior Management commitment, alignment of the Organisational Governance and Organisational Strategy together with the use of a Portfolio Office Model working within a culture that is energised and motivated to change. The Portfolio Management Practices are grouped within two cycles: the Portfolio Definition Cycle and the Portfolio Delivery Cycle. When the Practices are used to complement existing organisational structures they will help to facilitate key Portfolio Management activities, such as prioritisation, balancing, planning and controlled delivery, at both an organisational and unit level.

Importantly, the guidance highlights that Portfolio Management is most effective when done ‘topdown’ across an organisation as a whole, although some improvements will be seen wherever it is applied within an organisation. Equally, while Portfolio Management will be more effective where robust Programme and Project Management structures exist, this is not a prerequisite. Portfolio Management will be effective whenever it is used, Irrespective of an organisation’s Programme and Project Management maturity.

Adopting Portfolio Management is a big step for everyone involved, particularly the Senior Management Board, who must be the Portfolio Management champions, and in today’s economic climate must recognise that using Portfolio Management is absolutely non-negotiable.

Portfolio Management: what is it?

Portfolio Management is a co-ordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational Change and Business as Usual.

(Executive Summary)