Learn the difference between projects, programs, and portfolios, and why all three tiers are important for an organization.
- What is the common driver of portfolios, programs, and projects? Let's describe how these three areas connect to each other and how they are different. For starters, organizational strategy drives portfolios, programs, and projects. The portfolio manager has a close link to the executives within a corporation. Why? She is the first point of contact to align the strategy with the programs and projects which make up the portfolio content.
Who selects and staffs the programs and projects? Yes, it's the portfolio manager. She needs to make sure the entire portfolio brings value and that the organization is investing its money wisely. Program management groups two or more projects together that aim to achieve the same deliverables. A deliverable is basically the benefits that you expect at the end of the exercise. If programs are a collection of projects delivering common value, does every project need to belong to a program? If projects are unique and are note associated with any other project, then there is no need to be part of a program.
If a project is part of a program, who do you think the project manager reports to? You guessed it, the program manager. If a project ends, does the program end? No. Programs end long after the projects are closed, because it's all about making sure the benefits are valid after they've been deployed. What about a portfolio? Does it ever end? Organizational strategy never ends, so neither does a portfolio.
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- What is program management?
- Who are program managers?
- Program versus project
- Program life-cycle phases
- Aligning programs to an organization's strategies
- Analyzing needs and planning programs
- Delivering and sustaining benefits from programs
- Working with program stakeholders
- Supporting program governance activities
- Managing program finances and resources
- Scheduling programs
- Managing program scope and quality