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Portfolio Management - from theory to adding value

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This was the theme for a half-day conference hosted by the Portfolio Management SIG, held in London on Tuesday 2 October. A packed house of around 60 delegates from a wide range of public and private sector organisations heard a variety of speakers talk about their own practical portfolio management experiences and insights. (See list of presentations below).

Steve Jenner, co-author of, and Chief Examiner for, the OGCs Management of Portfolios and author of a new APMG guide Managing Benefits published in September 2012, set the scene by posing some challenges on how to make portfolio management real. This included having a better understanding of the personal, organisational, and psychological barriers to effective portfolio management operation.

Achilleas Mavrellis, Performance, Panel and Portfolio Management Lead, Defra, talked through how a large government department with a diverse range of services has used portfolio management to redesign its portfolio and map projects and programmes to strategic goals. This has provided better control, meant there is now nowhere for projects to hide and improved the business case development and approvals process.

David Dunning, Director at Corporate Project Solutions (CPS) with more than 15 years experience implementing portfolio, programme and project management organisation, processes, technology and training, highlighted some of the barriers to implementing portfolio management and how some of these can be overcome.

Peter Lisley and Rebecca West, Assistant Town Clerk and Senior Programme manager respectively from the City of London Corporation, showed how portfolio management had added value to their organisation. This included a better corporate overview, improved communications to elected members and better scrutiny of projects.

Stuart Dixon, with 20 years of experience in PMOs working in financial & travel industries, along with Stephen Parrett, who has been involved in portfolio management in banking, insurance and central government, related some of their experiences in financial services. Stuart identified a range of key building blocks to create a portfolio and Stephen highlighted several factors for keeping the portfolio balanced and doable.

Martin Samphire, from Transformation and PPPM Capability Improvement Consultancy 3pmxl and Chairman of the APM Governance SIG, concluded by proposing that getting portfolio management and governance right should result in: clear links between strategy, plans, and the change portfolio; optimisation of all change resources; and, better overall delivery of benefits and strategic outcomes.

The conference included two interactive Panel Sessions during which delegates sought views from the speakers on subjects including: applying portfolio management in different industries; how to get senior executives to take portfolio management seriously; and, how to sell portfolio management to project managers.

Comments and questions raised at the event will be used by the SIG committee to develop content for future debate, including via blogs, newsletter articles and future events.

Please get involved, your SIG needs you!

We would like to build on the enthusiasm that was evident from those attending this event, and therefore ask you to consider adding your weight to the SIGs efforts in promoting/sharing PfM best practices.

There are several ways you can do this, including:

Join the SIG Committee at meetings

Come to extended committee/member meetings for debates on hot topics

Find out about the APM Portfolio Management SIG.

Contribute your views via blogs, newsletter, events, etc.

We are particularly keen to establish a shared resource of experience-based case studies; any aspect of PfM can be included. 

Other ideas and suggestions to:


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