Categories: Portfolio Management
By Wanda Curlee
Compared to project or program management, “portfolio management” is in its infancy. I suspect many still think of investment or financial portfolio managers when they hear the phrase.
Portfolio management—I don’t usually put “project” before these words—will certainly change significantly during the next decade. Think how much project management has changed in the last 10 years.
But instead of looking into a crystal ball to imagine the state of portfolio management in 2026, let’s just think about 2016. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for three things this year.
1) C-Suite recognition.
I expect many more people in the C-Suite to recognize that implementing strategy is doing the hard work. Someone needs to be the push between executives and senior management on one hand, and program and project managers on the other.
Some would say that this is the PMO manager’s position, but that misses the point. The portfolio manager sits above the PMO and does the hard work for the C-Suite. He or she has the ear of the C-Suite and makes tough recommendations to the governance team. This is primarily done by looking at the strategic objectives, aligning the projects and programs to them, and ensuring that the appropriate resources are available for execution.
2) New tools.
What else will we see? Tools! To date, there is no one tool that truly meets the need of the portfolio manager. Yes, some come close. But there is nothing that appears to have the input of a seasoned portfolio manager.
I hope some enterprising software company will retain an experienced portfolio manager to help design a brilliant tool. Because when the end user is asked to help design the software, a much better product happens.
3) Virtual abilities.
Along with the right tools, a portfolio manager needs to be able to work in a virtual environment. With clients, project managers, vendors and leaders in different parts of the world, many companies are now operating in a virtual environment. That means it’s increasingly important that portfolio managers have the ability to deal with time zone and cultural differences.
It’s hard to say exactly how working in a cloud-based environment could impact the world of portfolio management. It could conceivably provide greater transparency to an organization’s leaders, for example.
What do you expect to see as portfolio management matures in 2016 and beyond?