Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Difference Between Portfolios, Programs, and Projects

From the Project Management Institute - The Standard for Program Management:

Projects have a narrow scope with specific deliverable.
Programs have a wide scope that may have to change to meet the benefit expectations of the organization.
Portfolios have a business scope that changes with the strategic goals of the organization.
The project manager tries to keep change to a minimum.
Program managers have to expect change and even embrace it.
Portfolio managers continually monitor changes in the broad environment.
Success is measured by budget, on time, and products delivered to specification.
Success is measured in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), new capabilities, and benefit delivery.
Success is measured in terms of aggregate performance of portfolio components.
Leadership style focuses on task delivery and directive in order to meet the success criteria.
Leadership style focuses on managing relationships, and conflict resolution.  Program manager’s need to facilitate and manage the political aspects of the stakeholder management.
Leadership style focuses on adding value to portfolio decision-making.
Project managers manage technicians, specialists, etc.
Program managers manage project managers.
Portfolio managers many manage or coordinate management staff.
Project managers are team players who motivate using their knowledge and skills.
Program managers are leaders providing vision and leadership.
Portfolio managers are leaders providing insight and synthesis.
Project managers conduct detailed planning to manage the delivery of products of the project.
Program managers create high-level plans providing guidance to projects where detailed plans are created.
Portfolio managers create and maintain necessary process and communication relative to the aggregate portfolio.
Project managers monitor and controls tasks and the work of producing the projects products.
Program managers monitor projects and ongoing work through governance structures.
Portfolio managers monitor aggregate performance and value indicators.

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