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APM Body of Knowledge Refresh Programme - December update

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There has never been a more critical time to establish the position of portfolio management within the profession. Thats the message coming from the latest round of consultation in the APM Body of Knowledge Refresh Programme.

The subject, which together with project and programme management forms the backbone of the 6th edition of the associations flagship publication, has grown to prominence in recent months. The pressure to deliver benefit through projects and programmes has grown in the midst of budget cuts across the public and private sector. In response, the thinking within the discipline has intensified with a new APM Specific Interest Group, a stream at the APM Project Management Conference and the recent Portfolio Management Special in Project magazine.

The challenge of portfolio management is clear; it is a subject that has not yet consolidated to a single agreed definition or approach, but is too important not to form a significant part of the professionals source book.

Stephen Jenner, chairman of the newly formed APM Portfolio Management Specific Interest Group said The challenges we face include that Portfolio Management means different things to different people. To some, the focus is on improving portfolio prioritisation so that we 'do the right' projects and programmes. For others, it's more about the management of the project portfolio 'in flight'; whilst for others, the focus is on benefits realisation at an enterprise level; and for some, the challenge is to address all three by improved coordination of policy/strategy, delivery, and business as usual. All these perspectives are legitimate as the approach adopted needs to be tailored to the specific circumstances - but the importance of identifying good practice and lessons learned is crucial if we are to improve delivery and benefits realisation in an environment of ever tighter finances.

The Refresh Programme is a groundbreaking collaborative effort involving over 1000 stakeholders, many of whom are new to the association. Working both online and through a series of focus and review groups, participants have been working together in a way never previously seen in the profession.

Liz Wilson, APM head of professional standards and knowledge, said In the past it has been very difficult to engage with a wide community of professionals on projects like this. The collaborative approach has allowed us to utilise the extensive expertise of both our Specific Interest Groups and other leading thinkers in the profession alongside a new community of professionals. Our online communities and the Ibis House team travelling to every APM region in the last month to events up and down the country attended by over 700 people has allowed us to engage with a far broader community of practitioners and academics from all sectors and backgrounds.

There are still opportunities to get involved; anyone wishing to participate in the programmeis welcome to register their interest through the APM website.


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