Project Portfolio Management | Why & How?

Project Portfolio Management

Project Portfolio Management is just a “Birds Eye View” over all the projects and portfolios related to an organization.

Bob Buttrick, came up with a simpler definition:


Directing the individual project correctly will ensure it is done right. Directing ‘all the projects’ successfully will ensure we are doing the right projects.

A portfolio may have several of sub-portfolios, programs and projects as follow

project portfolio management

Project Portfolio Management

Project Management & Project Portfolio Management

To understand in a simple way, let’s start from the basics – Hope you may know already theses terms & you can skip if you wanted to next heading.


A primary endeavour was undertaken that gives us Unique product, services or result as per PMI – PMBOK.

For example, you are to build a Mall, road, bridge, Plant erection etc. are one-time unique tasks & we call it a Project. Making tea or cleaning a house is not a Project as it is not Unique – It’s called operation.


It’s a group of “related” project that we can manage in a coordinated way. This is done to get collective benefits as we cannot control these ones by one.

Related in the sense of strategic business objectives, transformational cross departments or business units.

Example, we are having a project for Parking and other is of a Road. We will manage them through a Program as activities are closely related and hence beneficial. A dissimilar project can’t form a Program.


It includes Projects and Programs as you can see in the above exhibition. You have multiple non-related projects and programs even you can make sub-portfolios for your convince which ultimately have Projects in it.

The basic difference between portfolio & program is: in a program, only related projects are included but the portfolio won’t mind any to have any.

Project Management

A discipline that uses principles and procedures to help to manage a project to deliver a unique outcome, such as a product, result or service. The person responsible to run a project is called a Project Manager as per PMI standard as he is one who has Charter to utilize the project resources efficiently by applying the project management process.

Program Management

Program Management is the process to achieve the optimum result for the group of projects.

Program Manager is a person responsible for managing the program.

What is Project Portfolio Management?

Project Portfolio Management

Project Portfolio Management – An Intensive Overview Explaining all the Related Terms

Project Portfolio Management – PPM is responsible for all projects in any organization. It always sees the projects, portfolios in a bigger picture – a high-level perspective.

Project Portfolio Management used to optimize the output of the portfolio to get maximum benefits the organizations want.

Most of the firms use Project Management Office – PMO to achieve goals of Project Portfolio Management.

PMO drives PPM at the strategic level on all projects. It’s a permanent entity in the organization using it.

PMO will analyze and prioritize the projects and even will advise the organization that no to take any project after careful analysis of organization position & nature of the project if not matching its strategic goals.

Major Tasks of Project Portfolio Management

As said earlier, PMO manages these tasks if available otherwise PPM do it by itself. The major tasks are;

Prioritizing: It will advise prioritizing a project or program according to strategic objectives.

Resources Management: Responsible to manage & provide all the required resources to drive projects according to skill, time & budget.

High-Level Planning & Controlling: To track major milestone of projects

Development: It will advise & arrange required training, coaching & mentoring to the team including managers as per requirements.

Support Program: One of the major tasks is once assigned the team it should help the team to drive a successful project & if they need any kind of help it should provide without any hassle.

Without proper PPM application, there may be all blur and organization may run out soon as it is not looking at future perspective efficiently. In this case, an organization is following a bottom-up approach that will overload the employees.

PPM use top-down technique, it ensures to put the load on a capable person only and project are less risky. This is done through proper resource planning.


The main difference is in Project Portfolio Management a bigger picture and thinks out of the box always whereas Project Management only handles an individual one and hence not looking on organization’s strategic set goals although it may be the best approach on a single project to complete successfully.

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