Project Management

Portfolio Management from the PM's Perspective

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

With all of the talk at the moment about portfolio management and the importance of strategic execution, it’s easy to forget that success will still only happen with effective project managers. Portfolio management will drive the strategic decision making that determines which projects will be approved, how different initiatives are prioritized and resourced, and when changes have to be made for the good of the organization.

However, execution on those projects still relies very heavily on effective project management. Yet many organizations fail to recognize that they are driving significant change to a PM’s job, and even fewer do anything to try and make the transition a constructive one for all concerned. In this article, I want to look at portfolio management in terms of the impact on PMs, and perhaps offer some guidance on how to help ensure that those PMs are champions of the evolution rather than resistors.

Understanding the impact for PMs
The first thing to recognize is that regardless of how collaborative the process of implementing portfolio management is, there will still be some perceived negative impact on project managers. By moving decision-making authority to a higher level of the organization, the project manager is losing some of the autonomy and control that they have over their projects. On a day-to-day basis, the PM still has full …


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"That rainbow song's no good. Take it out."

- MGM Executive Memo after first showing of The Wizard of Oz