APM Board approves new Portfolio Management SIG

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Posted by APM on 27th Sep 2010

Plans for the proposed APM Portfolio Management SIG have now been approved by the APM board.

First we had project management, then programme management to help manage large and complex changes. Now comes portfolio management taking a corporate view of not single projects/programmes, but potentially all of them and asking the questions:

Are these the right projects and programmes to deliver our strategic objectives?
Are we doing them right in terms of efficient and effective delivery? and
Are we realising the full benefits from our investment?

This is an evolving field and there is a great deal of work to be done including to:

  • Identify best practice
  • Develop guidance and professional qualifications
  • Build relationships with other interested professional groupings

APM and the Office of Government Commerce have recognised this and are collaborating by establishing a
Portfolio Management SIG, building on the progress made to date by existing APM SIGs and the central government portfolio management group.

A first step was the recent discovery day hosted by DEFRA, at which more than 80 attendees from the commercial and public sectors gathered to hear the story so far and discuss what happens next. Stephen Jenner, who is to be the chairman of the new SIG and a key proponent of portfolio management
in government (and co-author of the OGC guidance as well as his own book in the field) described the work
to date of the governments portfolio management group that will merge into the new APM SIG. APMs work on portfolio management has ranged across a number of SIGs and speakers from the programme management, governance and benefits management SIGs described the initiatives, papers and seminars held
in recent years and demonstrated their support for the new APM Portfolio Management SIG.

From considering recent history, the session then turned to the way forward. Professors John Ward (Cranfield) and Elizabeth Daniel (the Open University) outlined the results of their recent research into how organisations are using portfolio management which highlights that while the rewards are potentially great, success is by no means guaranteed, and much progress remains to be made. A lively discussion ensued with more questions than answers, which reinforced the scale of the challenge ahead, but also the willingness of  practitioners to play their part.

The committee of the new APM Portfolio management SIG will need to hit the ground running with an agenda that already includes:

An autumn 2010 conference is also on the cards. So, if you are working in this field and/or are interested in contributing to the debate, please watch out for the opportunity to register your interest on the APM website.

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