To be successful, organisations must evolve and this means improving how they run their business on a daily basis (business as usual) and adapting to emerging demands and expectations. Portfolio management helps organisations make decisions about implementing the right changes to business as usual; those changes are delivered via projects and programmes. It also provides a 'helicopter view' of all change activities - both those in planning and those in delivery - including providing a clear line of sight about what is in the portfolio, what it is costing, what risks are faced, what progress is being made, and with what impact on business as usual and the organisation's strategic objectives.
Rather than representing a new discipline, portfolio management seeks to build on, and better co-ordinate, existing processes such as strategic planning, investment appraisal and project and programme management. Portfolio management is not concerned with the detailed management of these projects and programmes; rather, it approaches the management of change projects and programmes from a strategic viewpoint, focusing on the key issues outlined above. This is reflected in the following formal definition for portfolio management, which is:
A co-ordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that together enable the most effective balance of organisational change and business as usual.
Portfolio management can be used effectively within specific directorates of the organisation - for example, the 'IT portfolio'. However, the greatest success is realised when management boards use portfolio management to deliver the organisation's corporate change portfolio as a whole.
Portfolio management addresses the fundamental questions:
•Are we doing the right things?
•Are we doing these things right?
•Most significantly, are we realising all the benefits in terms of more effective services and efficiency savings from the changes we are implementing?
The mechanisms by which these questions are answered are incorporated in the model shown below. This model brings together the key activities required to successfully define and deliver a portfolio of change whilst ensuring resources are used efficiently.
Portfolio Management - Management of Portfolios (MoP)
Management of Portfolios is a new set of guidance from OGC. The first guide, for senior executives, will publish in June 2010 and will be followed by practitioner guidance early in 2011. The practitioner guidance will be supported by a qualification scheme.
The Official MoP Portfolio will include:
•OGC required products comprising OGC Core Reference material which are "Crown copyright - value-added".
•Complementary material from the Official Publisher, Official Accreditor and web based complementary products.
Core Reference Material
•An Executive Guide to Portfolio Management
•Management of Portfolios.
An Executive Guide to Portfolio Management
This core guidance from OGC is aimed at the decision makers who have to prioritise investment across an organization's programmes and projects. The guide introduces the key concepts of portfolio management, its benefits to an organization, how it fits in with current business processes and how to get started. Included in this is a check list of questions to ask about the current state of portfolio management.
Management of Portfolios
This title is for practitioners who need guidance to help them set up and run portfolio management. It describes portfolio management in its strategic and organizational context and provides guidance on: the principles of effective Portfolio Management; the key practices, including examples of how they have been applied in practice; and how to implement portfolio management and sustain progress.