Portfolio Management, Program Management and Project Management – How are they related?

We already dealt with Project Management and its internals in different topics. Let us review some information on Portfolio management and Program management which are closely related to Project Management.

Portfolio management and Program management facilitates effective control and management of projects.

Portfolio Management:

In financial investment terms, portfolio is a single place to view collection of investments held by individuals and it is used to do investment analysis.

A Portfolio in project management terms refers to managing collection of projects or programs and other work that is grouped together. The projects or programs of a portfolio may or may not related to each other. Usually these groupings are done for betterment of the executing organization by allocating, sharing & prioritizing resources across constituting programs or projects.

Program Management:

If executing of different projects are not beneficial to the organization then these projects will be managed together through a Program. When executing related projects in a coordinated way as a program, it gives more control over them. Programs may include elements of related work outside the scope of the discrete projects in the program. Program management can be viewed as the centralized, coordinated management of a group of projects to achieve the program’s objectives and benefits.

Generally, grouping of projects into a Program or Portfolio depends on different key factors. 1) ease of governance 2) Alignment to vision, mission and strategy of organization 3) accountability 4) optimizing return on investment 5) availability of infrastructure & resources 6) progressive elaboration 7) organization’s priorities, etc.

Here is the general representation of relationships between Portfolio, Program and Project.

Portfolio-Program-Project Links