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APM Project Fundamentals Podcast: Programme Management and Portfolio Management

Listen to one of the APM Project Fundamentals Podcasts from Parallel Project Training

This podcasts looks at Programme Management and Portfolio Management and the differences between them.



There are 3 terms projects, programmes and portfolios and it can be a little confusing as to why we have them all.

Programmes are simply a collection of projects aligned around the same major objective – programmes tend to be more strategic than individual projects.

So projects can be part of a programme of projects,  for instance merging two organisations you would need to rationalise office space, marketing, facilities, HR etc.. so all the individual projects would be working together to achieve one single, new organisation.

Portfolios are an  amalgamation of all the work an organisation is currently doing – programmes and projects. For instance and organisation merging will have a programme of projects aimed at bringing the organisation into one entity but there might also be quite separate projects ongoing such as a new product launch.

The portfolio is the work that the organisation has chosen to do because, clearly, not all projects can be done at the same time. It is simply the collection of projects and programmes that are underway.

Portfolio management requires discussion at senior/C-suite level and is essential for project success.

It is covered on the APM Fundamentals course because it is important for project managers to understand that their projects are often within a programme so they need an idea of the context of their project.

About Michelle Symonds

Michelle Symonds spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in SEO.

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