Portfolios, programs and projects

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Monday evening and another week of studies have begun. Last weeks lecture lead to a bit of confusion for me with regards to the definition of portfolios. This made me what to study PMI’s definition of programs and projects as well.

According to PMI a portfolio is a collection of projects, programs , subsidiary portfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives.
A program is defied as a group of related projects, subsidiary programs and program activities that are managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

In my experience, many companies fail to differentiate between projects and programs. Often, huge projects are executed to solve major issues or to rebuild services or infrastructure; projects that probably should be broken down to smaller projects managed and coordinated under a program manager. According to me, huge projects tend to be move slow and fail to realign themselves when business needs change. Smaller projects however, usually keep high speed and can be realigned before execution.

What’s your take? Have you worked under a successful program? Please leave a comment!

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