Now, what is program? A program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control which is not available from managing them individually. Programs are grouped within a portfolio and are comprised of sub-programs, projects, or other work that are managed in a coordinated fashion in support of the portfolio. But why you need program management? Answer would be to decreased risk and economies of Scale. But, what is Portfolio? Portfolio managers help their organizations make wise investment decisions and by helping to select and analyze projects from a strategic perspective. The Projects or programs in the portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related. Portfolio refers to a collection of projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objective.
Let’s continue to our discussion. It’s a important concept to understand the areas of Project, Program & Portfolio management.
About scope: Project has defined objectives. Scope is progressively elaborated. Programs have larger scope and provide more significant benefits and portfolio has business scope that changes with strategic goals of organization.
For changes, Project Managers expect change and implement processes to keep the changes managed whereas Program Manager must expect change from both inside and outside the program. Portfolio managers continually monitor changes in the broad environment.
In case of planning, Project Managers progressively elaborate high level information into detailed plans throughout the project life cycle. Program Managers develop the overall program plan and create high-level plans to guide detailed planning at the component level. Portfolio Managers create and maintain necessary processes & communication relative to the aggregate portfolio.
For Management point of view, Project Managers manage team to meet the project objectives but Program Managers manage the program staff and the project managers; they provide vision and overall leadership. Portfolio managers may manage portfolio management staff.
Project success is measured by product and project quality, timeliness, cost effectiveness and degree of customer satisfaction. Program success is measured by degree to which program satisfies the needs and benefits for which it was undertaken. Portfolio success is measured in terms of aggregate performance of portfolio components.
Not finished yet! There are some differences in monitoring projects, programs and portfolio. Project works for Monitoring and Controlling of producing the project’s products, services or results. Whereas Program Managers monitor progress of program components to ensure overall goals, schedules, budget and benefits of the program will be met. Portfolio Managers monitor aggregate performance and value indicators.