Making Sense of Portfolio Management

PMI Southern Ontario Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Think about your investment portfolio for a moment. If you have a few million dollars in assets, seeking out a portfolio manager to provide advice may be worthwhile. If their offering includes tax and financial planning, your financial results may significantly improve as a result.

On the other hand, if you have a small portfolio, engaging a portfolio manager is unlikely to add value compared to holding a small number of low-cost index funds. That distinction also carries forward to deciding if and when your organization would benefit from adopting portfolio management.

What Is Portfolio Management?
Since portfolio management remains an emerging discipline, it’s helpful to affirm the definition we are using. Consider the following definition adapted from PMI’s The Standard for Portfolio Management – Third Edition:

A portfolio is a component collection of programs, projects or operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives…A portfolio exists to achieve one or more organizational strategies and objectives… Portfolios and programs have the potential to be longer term with new projects rotating into the portfolio or programs, unlike projects that have a defined beginning and end.

Does Your Organization Need Portfolio Management?
By one measure, portfolio management is a specialized discipline best suited for organizations…

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