The Misnomer of the Portfolio Lifecycle

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 andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Many of you may be aware that portfolio management is a topic that I write and speak about quite a lot—it’s the subject of my part of the Building the Hybrid PMO Workshop series I have been delivering in association with ProjectManagement.com and PMI for the last few years.

As such, it’s a topic that I get asked about more than maybe any other. So when I found out it was this month’s theme, I didn’t exactly have a shortage of things I wanted to write about. As I thought through the different options, I kept coming back to one thing that really bugs me, an idea that I come across frequently—that a portfolio is something that only lasts for a year. I’m therefore going to vent some of my frustration over that perception here!

When I write about portfolios, I often make the comparison between project portfolios and investment portfolios—they’re something most of us can relate to in some small way through things like retirement planning. We may not have daily involvement in our retirement plans or other investment portfolios, but we understand that they are vehicles for the long term that contain various stocks, shares, bonds or similar instruments that will change over time.

Whoever manages that portfolio for us is expected to review the contents regularly and will also be required to sit down with us on a regular basis…

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