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Optimising portfolios using benefits and value management: A panel debate podcast

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The first SIG podcast
Optimising portfolios using benefits and value management: A panel debate podcast
🕑 34 mins

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Anchor - listen and record your audio comments to add to the podcast


Arranging your change projects into a portfolio, whether formally or informally, increases the likelihood of organisational success. On one hand, the portfolio is the bridge to action — what are we going to do, and what are we not going to do to make best use of scarce resources.

However, in many organisations, portfolios leak value at every stage.

So how can we get more of the good stuff, and minimise the bad? We asked a panel of experienced project professionals scope the question. Sign in to APM’s website to comment below, and get in touch with the SIG to join in with the conversation.

This debate opens with the question:
Why aren't organisations more successful at allocating investment and achieving value?

Our panellists talked from their own experience, organisations we’ve worked with. It’s clear that some pockets of some organisations are better than others. And it seems to come down to people, to human factors. Our panel came back with some excellent examples.

Our themes will all follow a process. This panel debate starts the “Raising Awareness” phase—when we ask you to help us define the question “how can we optimise portfolios using benefits and value management?” through a series of blogs, podcasts and recorded debates. In this debate we identified several areas explore further:

Does the project profession already have tools to use benefits and value to manage portfolios?
If so, why aren't they used?

Our panel thinks (see 8 minutes and 47 seconds [8:47] into the broadcast) that we probably already have the tools to manage portfolios using benefits and value. We debate the use of existing portfolio management tools—what they are and why many organisations don’t seem to use them.

The problem seems to be that managing projects is seen as a technical task, so the investment board considers the tools beneath their pay grade. Is this your experience? What do you think? Log into APM website and comment.

How do we get the message across to the right people?

What the panellists concluded in answering the last question, is that the people who need to get engaged with this discussion are often not coming to APM webinars or reading APM web pages. But we’ve identified who are the right people (at [17:13]). They are those who set and execute on strategy, who allocate the investment, who start/ stop/ increase/ decrease/ modify programmes, and who decide which programmes get investment.

So how do we reach these people? How would we reach people like you? Through blogs? Articles? Debates? Webinars? What would you suggest?

Are there trends we can leverage in order to get the message across?

The best time to introduce a change is often on the back of a forced change. So our panel discussed what’s going on in the industry, especially as we emerge from the lock-down and the changes that it’s wrought. At [25:33] through the broadcast, we start to explore this aspect. What would work for people you know? Can you be a part of this?

Those contributing on this panel discussion included:

John Thorp author of “The Information Paradox” and considered by some to be the grand-daddy of benefits and value, John’s concern is that we can convince chief executives one-by-one but that’s too slow – the change needs to proceed apace!

Kevin Parry retired programme director, now open to consulting opportunities and chair of the SIG Thought Leadership working group, it’s Kevin’s group which is hosting these debates.

Tim Carroll has extensive experience in change programmes and projects in IT, construction and financial services, both managing and introducing P3M (portfolio, programme and project management) standards and methods into organisations.

Sarah Earl head of centre of excellence at UCL and leading the P3M community of practice, having moved into active project management from lecturing.

David Golding 35 years in programme management and with 2 degrees in project management, David has experience in many sectors.

Hugo Minney co chair of the SIG (with David Golding), I’m facilitating this panel discussion.

If you would like to be part of a future panel, or would like to contribute in writing, then get in touch with the SIG via our email



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