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Welcome to the Summer 2017 edition of the APM Portfolio Management SIG newsletter

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Welcome to the Summer edition of the APM Portfolio Management SIG newsletter

Introduction by the SIG Chairs

On behalf of the Portfolio Management SIG committee we hope you’ve had a good summer break, and welcome to the summer edition of our newsletter.

It was great to see so many of you at our annual conference in May, both SIG members and non-members. It helps reinforce our belief that portfolio management is coming into its own as a key business management approach to help organisations better achieve their strategic goals.

We were also pleased to launch the first of our Managing the Portfolio series of thought leadership reports at the conference, and we’ve outlined our plans for the rest of the series below.

In June we held our electronic committee election and we now have a new committee. Many thanks to those who have left and welcome to our new committee members; this year we have elected Co Chairs, hoping to spread the workload a little more evenly.

Our work with branches and other SIGs has increased this quarter – Adam was speaking at the Thames Valley branch in May, Steve is talking to the London branch in October, and this builds on Lynne’s very successful work with the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire branch towards the end of last year. Neil White from the Benefits Management SIG ran one of our workshops with us at the conference, and Simon from our committee jointly ran a workshop in the June Benefits Summit.

About 15 of you have volunteered to help the committee, either from discussions at the conference or through personal contacts, which is great and we’re reinvigorating our volunteer programme so you’ll be hearing from us in September.

Finally, our first portfolio guide is progressing well, and we plan to launch the publication at our next conference in May 2018.

As always, please let us have any thoughts, comments etc. to

Stephen Parrett and Steve Leary
APM Portfolio Management SIG Co Chairs

2017 Portfolio Management Conference

Our key event in the last quarter was, as many of you know, another very successful Portfolio Management conference. Over 100 attended and we had four excellent speakers - the 5th from HMRC was prevented from speaking under the General Election rules.

Neil White, the Benefits Management SIG Chair, supported us in preparing and running the workshop on ‘Optimising the benefits from across the portfolio’. This ran in parallel with Adam’s and Mike’s ‘How can portfolio managers balance all the “time-bound” challenges across projects, programmes and the portfolio?’ and ‘Defining effective PfM toolset functionality for your organisation’ run by Paul and Lynne.

We also launched the 1st part of our Managing the Portfolio series of thought leadership reports, and had a lively post-conference gathering at the Marquis Cornwallis, opposite the venue, where most of the speakers and participants debated portfolio management, and perhaps a few other topics, well into the evening.

Planning for our next conference in 2018 has started, so if you’ve got any thoughts, ideas or requests please let us know at

Post-conference activities include an article by the Royal Mail presenter (now a SIG committee member, Richard Moor) in the Autumn issue of Project explaining how Royal Mail addressed its new challenges following privatisation and how portfolio management was critical to their success (page 52). We also have write-ups of the workshops which will be added to the SIG website soon.

More information on the conference is published on the SIG microsite.

Our committee

Many thanks to Glenn Jones and Richard Davies who reluctantly had to leave our committee due to work commitments. Richard from the Royal Mail, Gina – an independent consultant at YBS - and Marina from TfL have all joined the committee this year. We elected our Secretary and this year we have two Co Chairs to spread the load and also accelerate some of our activities to achieve our SIG aims and serve our members. At our first committee meeting we reviewed and ratified the SIG aims and objectives, they remain unchanged.

So this is what the committee looks like! We meet monthly, usually face to face, and have fortnightly updates to check progress.

The 12 of us have a broad range of backgrounds, skills and expertise and, judging by the enthusiasm at our first committee meeting, we can look forward to many further successes from a great team!


Our first thought leadership report, or opinion piece, under the Managing the Portfolio banner was launched at our conference with considerable interest, over 100 copies were issued.

The second part is now in development.

They are aimed at a wide business audience – senior executives, change managers, operational managers and project, programme & portfolio professionals. These will provide an end to end perspective and address practical challenges on how to think differently about portfolio management. The reports are focused on:

  1. “The way the problem presents itself” - recognising the need;
  2. “Clearing the fog” - making sense of all of the change and gaining visibility and clear line-of-sight;
  3. “Shaping the pathway” - prioritising and balancing;
  4. “Delivering the prize” - leading and optimising the change.

The SIG’s first portfolio guide is also in development and we’ll be looking to our volunteers to help us review and offer additional thoughts and comments. The first draft is due in October with finalisation by year-end to go into publication and printing in time for our 2018 conference.

SIG, branch and volunteer liaison

Neil White from the Benefits Management SIG worked with us preparing and running one of our conference workshops, see above, and we returned the compliment with Simon Darby running a workshop with Neil at the June Benefits Summit. We’re continuing our links with them and are working together on creating a benefits framework guide for portfolio management.

We also have good links with a number of other SIGs and this year we want to develop these relationships and work together on some joint initiatives, and we’ve already had some initial discussions on potential joint areas of interest. We have ‘points of contact’ in our committee to foster these relationships.

Similarly, several of us have connections with APM Branches and as well as Adam’s talk at Thames Valley, Steve is presenting and is on the panel at a London Branch event in October. Lynne hosted a brilliant event in Leeds at the end of last year and we will continue and plan to expand our links with the Midlands and more northerly branches.

We mentioned volunteers earlier in the newsletter and our plans are to involve some of you in:

  • re-assessing the APM web pages and how we can best support the SIG needs as we move forward;
  • review and contribution to our portfolio management guide;
  • testing ideas and our plans as they can act as a representative sample of our members, a sort of ‘focus group’.

This year we decided to appoint one of our committee to focus on these areas, and Paul Morgan kindly volunteered to lead these activities.

Other news

The APM Volunteers forum is on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of September, where the SIG committee representatives will discuss and raise points to support the work of the SIG going forwards.

That’s all for this edition, so best wishes to you all, and we look forward to hearing from you and meeting you at our conference next May.

Stephen and Steve
APM Portfolio Management SIG Co Chairs



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