How many organisations truly know what constitutes their portfolio?

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A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to attend a Friday and Saturday APM forum in York. All the Specific Interest Group and Branch chairpersons got together to exchange ideas and receive an update.

Lots of great debate ensued including an excellent presentation by APM chief executive, Andrew Bragg. Andrew described the associations sustained commitment to gaining chartered status for the profession and outlined APMs emerging vision for 2020 of a world where all projects succeed.

Thanks to engineering works delays and lively debate on the train with 3 fellow APM travellers, I started to think about the APMs strategic aims. (A dangerous activity for me, thinking.)   

Logically there are two bits to consider in this aim - the word project and the word succeed. 

For now I will leave the definition of project success to my fellow Benefits Management SIG traveller. So that leaves the word Project. No problem there I hear you muse - or perhaps not?

How many of our clients and employees do not know what constitutes a project or a programme (and the differences between the two)? How many do not understand the difference between something as basic as an operation (task) or a project? For example, APM described the refresh of the Body of Knowledge, version 6 as a Project, surely producing version 1 was a project and versions 2-6 are operational ongoing activities?

Therefore how many organisations truly know what constitutes their portfolio?

So perhaps portfolio management is the incubator, where the conception of all programmes and projects takes place and evolves to fit the strategy of the organisation? The reality is more that they are spawned elsewhere and retro-fitted to the portfolio at a later stage in their development? 

Where are the origins of the P3M species?

Stay tuned to find out if our forthcoming portfolio management survey will bring us close to revealing one of lifes great mysteries...                


Posted by on 2nd Dec 2011

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